Complaint under section 138 of the N.I. Act is criminal in nature. It, therefore, cannot be stretched to bar which is in the nature of temporary bar to the suit. Section 138 of the N.I. Act is in the nature of a panel provision with the objective to inculcate faith in the banking transactions. The term “suit” under section 69(2) of the Act of 1932 must receive its plain and simple meaning. It cannot be stretched for securing immunity from criminal prosecutions.
The bar under section 69(2) of the Act is liable to be confined only to enforcement of contractual obligations. In such conspectus, our answer to the question referred is as under:-
‘The prosecution of an accused under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is not hit by the bar created by the Indian Partnership Act, 1932.’