The accused, therefore, filed petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“the Code”) for quashing the process issued by the learned Magistrate. This Court observed that this principle is also incorporated in Section 9 of the General Clauses Act, 1897. Section 138(c) uses the words ‘within 15 days of the receipt of notice’.This Court further observed that there is no reason for not adopting the rule enunciated in Haru Das Gupta, which is consistently followed and which is adopted in the General Clauses Act and the Limitation Act. Using two different words ‘from’ and ‘of’ in the same Section at different places clarifies the intention of the legislature to convey different meanings by the said words.Since amount was not paid, offence was committed and, therefore, cause of action arose from 26/6/1996 and the period of limitation for filing complaint expired on 26/7/1996 i.e.
The accused gave some post-dated Cheques in repayment thereof.
Two of the said Cheques when presented on 3/5/1996 for encashment were dishonoured with the remark “no sufficient funds”.
The complaint filed on 8/8/1996 was, therefore, beyond the period of limitation.
The relevant observations of this Court could be quoted hereunder: “19.
This Court went on to observe that ordinarily in computing the time, the rule observed is to exclude the first day and to include the last. According to counsel, seen in this light, the word ‘of’ occurring in Section 138(c) and Section 142(b) is to be interpreted differently as against the word ‘from’ occurring in Section 138(a).
Following the said rule in the facts before it, this Court excluded the date ‘15/10/1995’ on which the cause of action had arisen for counting the period of one month. We have heard learned counsel for the parties at some length. The word ‘from’ may be taken as implying exclusion of the date in question and may well be governed by the General Clauses Act, 1897.
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’.
Counsel submitted that it is well settled that when two different words are used in the same provision or statute, they convey different meaning. Arthur Paul Benthall AIR 1956 SC 35, The Labour Commissioner, Madhya Pradesh v. If the starting point is excluded, that will render the word ‘within’ of Section 142(b) of the N.  Therefore, the complaint under Section 142(b) should be filed on or before or within, 30 days of the date on which the cause of action under Section 138(c) arises.
Counsel urged that the reference be answered in light of his submissions. It is necessary to first refer to SIL Import USA on which heavy reliance is placed by the respondents as it takes a view contrary to the view taken in Saketh.
In SIL Import USA, the complainant- Company’s case was that the accused owed a sum of US $ 72,075 (equivalent to more than 26 lakhs of rupees) to it towards the sale consideration of certain materials.
Counsel submitted that in view of the above, it is evident that Saketh does not lay down the correct law.