However, modifies sentence imposed on the woman convict

It is common for courts to punish chit fund promoters on the basis of complaints lodged by investors.

But, probably for the first time, the Madras High Court Bench here has convicted a woman investor for having cheated a chit fund company by issuing a cheque that went dishonoured.

Disposing of a criminal revision petition filed by the woman, Justice P.N. Prakash refused to interfere with the conviction imposed on her by a Judicial Magistrate court in Tiruchi in 2007 and subsequently confirmed by an Additional District Sessions Court in 2012.

The judge, however, modified the sentence since the convict turned out to be a woman. He said that the imprisonment of six months imposed on her by the lower courts would get converted to just payment of fine of Rs.5,000 if she deposits Rs.1 lakh in the trial court within four months.

He made it clear that the sentence of six months of rigorous imprisonment, imposed by the trial court, would get revived again if the money was not deposited within the stipulated time and the convict would have to undergo one more month of imprisonment if she failed to pay the fine.

According to the complainant, Santhanalakshmi Chit Funds of Tiruchi, the convict was a member of a chit fund scheme floated by the company.

The company chose to prosecute her since a cheque issued by her for Rs.55,850 in 2004 was not honoured owing to insufficiency of funds in her bank account.

The prosecution launched under the Negotiable Instruments Act ended up in conviction.

Thereafter, an appeal filed by the woman was dismissed and hence the present revision petition.

Finding no merits in the revision too, Mr. Justice Prakash said the chit fund company would be entitled to Rs.1 lakh if the convict deposits it on time.

More In: Madurai