But, before we turn to the facts, we must quote Section 138 and Section 142 of the N. The complaint filed on 15/11/1995 was, therefore, within time.
The same principle is applicable in computing the period of 15 days under Section 138(c) of the N. Counsel submitted in (2000) 8 SCC 649 Section 12 of the Limitation Act is held to be in pari materia with Section 9 of the General Clauses Act. Thus, for the purposes of Section 142(b), which prescribes that the complaint is to be filed within 30 days of the date on which the cause of action arises, the starting date on which the cause of action arises should be included for computing the period of 30 days.
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Counsel submitted that in the same judgment this Court has held that use of words ‘from’ and ‘within’ does not reflect any contrary intention and the first day on which the cause of action arises has to be excluded. Counsel further submitted that Section 138(c) and Section 142(b) prescribe the period within which certain acts are required to be done.
Counsel submitted that in the circumstances this Court should hold that Saketh lays down correct proposition of law. Shri Sunil Gupta, learned senior counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, submitted that the provisions of the N. Act provide for a criminal offence and punishment and, therefore, must be strictly construed. Section 12(1) of the Limitation Act cannot be resorted to so as to extend that period even by one day. Counsel submitted that the word ‘within’ has been held by this Court to mean ‘on or before’.
Orders of the Hon’ble the Chief Justice may be obtained for placing this matter before a larger Bench.” “Whether the complaint filed under Section 138 of the NI Act is within or beyond time as it was contended that it was not filed within one month from the date on which the cause of action arose under clause (c) of the proviso to Section 138 of the NI Act? We will have to therefore re-examine it for the purpose of answering the reference. Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with a banker for payment of any amount of money to another person from out of that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any debt or other liability, is returned by the bank unpaid. The cause of action, therefore, arose on 15/10/1995.