Those who issue cheques which are dishonoured by the bank cannot get away from payment of compensation by undergoing imprisonment. They must still pay compensation to the payee as ordered by the criminal court, according to a new interpretation of the provisions of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code. The Supreme Court passed the ruling in the appeal, Kumaran vs State of Kerala. In this case, the cheque bounced and the payee moved the criminal court. It ordered four months in jail and payment of fine. If the fine was not paid, the accused would undergo further imprisonment for one month. The accused person appealed, and the sessions court reduced the sentence to imprisonment for a day in the court. But it retained the one-month jail sentence if compensation was not paid. The accused chose to go to jail for one month for not paying the compensation of Rs2.75 lakh. The payee insisted on the compensation and so moved the court again. The dispute reached the Kerala High Court which ruled that the imprisonment undergone for failing to pay compensation would not wipe out the liability. The accused appealed against it to the Supreme Court. It dismissed his appeal and upheld the high court ruling stating that the liability to pay compensation will extend “until the recovery is completed”.