Reply is yes. It is evident from the reading of Sub-Section (3) of section 357 of the Code, that where the sentence imposed does not include a fine, that is, where the sentence relates to only imprisonment, the court, when passing judgment, can direct the accused to pay, by way of compensation, such amount as may be specified in the order to the person who has suffered any loss or injury by reason of the act for which the accused person has been so sentenced. The reason for this is obvious. Sub-section (1) of section 357 provides that where the court imposes a sentence of fine or a sentence of which fine forms a part, the Court may direct the fine amount to be applied in the payment to any person of compensation for any loss or injury caused by the offence, when compensation is, in the opinion of the court, recoverable by such person in a Civil Court.
Thus, if compensation could be paid from out of the fine, there is no need to award separate compensation. Only where the sentence does not include fine but only imprisonment and the court finds that the person who has suffered any loss or injury by reason of the act of the accused person, requires to be compensated, it is permitted to award compensation under compensation under section 357(3). Section 138 of the Act authorizes the Magistrate Ist Class to impose by way of fine, an amount which may extend to twice the amount of the cheque, with or without imprisonment. It is because in many cases, the limitation for filing civil suit expires during the pendency of trial for cheque bouncing cases.