1) there is no magic in the word "security cheque", such that, the moment the accused claims that the dishonoured cheque (in respect whereof a complaint under Section 138 of the Act is preferred) was given as a "security cheque", the Magistrate would acquit the accused. The expression "security cheque" is not a statutorily defined expression in the NI Act. The NI Act does not per se carve out an exception in respect of a 'security cheque' to say that a complaint in respect of such a cheque would not be maintainable. There can be mirade situations in which the cheque issued by the accused may be called as security cheque, or may have been issued by way of a security, i.e. to provide an assurance or comfort to the drawee, that in case of failure of the primary consideration on the due date, or on the happening (or not happening) of a contingency, the security may be enforced. While in some situations, the dishonor of such a cheque may attract the penal provisions contained in Section 138 of the Act, in others it may not.
2) The Karnataka High Court in M/s Shree Ganesh Steel Rolling Mills Ltd. v. M/s STCL Limited, Criminal Petition No.4104/2009 decided on 21.05.2013, 2013 SCC OnLine Kar 9939 : (2013) 4 AIR Kant R 70, inter alia, observed in relation to Narayana Menon (supra):
"It is to be noticed that the observation made by the apex court in Narayana Menon's case that ".................... if a cheque is issued for security or for any other purpose the same would not come within the purview of Section 138 of the Act.......". This was a passing observation in that case with reference to the facts found therein. It cannot be construed as an axiomatic statement of law to be mechanically applied, in all circumstances".'
3) In Sai Auto Agencies through its partner Dnyandeo Ramdas Rane v. Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Umar, 2011 (1) Crimes 180, the defence of the respondent/accused was that, in relation to purchase of a tractor and equipments from the appellant, five blank cheques were given only as security. The respondent claimed that the complainant had already received the entire purchase consideration, and that the cheque in question was without consideration. The Court rejected the defence of the accused that the entire consideration stood paid to the appellant supplier. Relying upon Beena Shabeer (supra), the High Court observed:
"7. ... ... ... Necessarily, the cheque given as a security, if bounced, shall be the subject-matter of a prosecution under Section 138 of the Act. So, the contention of the accused that cheque (exhibit 28) was given only as a security will not enable him to escape from the clutches of law".
45. The High Court further held as follows:
"9. Even if blank cheque has been given towards liability or even as security, when the liability is assessed and quantified, if the cheque is filled up and presented to the bank, the person who had drawn the cheque cannot avoid the criminal liability arising out of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act".
Thus, the myth that the dishonour of a cheque given as a security, cannot be the subject matter of a compliant under Section 138 NI Act was busted in this decision as well.