LS passes bill to deal with cheque bounce cases

LS passes bill to deal with cheque bounce cases

A bill providing for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the place of issue, was approved by the Lok Sabha today.

The amendments in the Negotiable Instruments Act will have implications for over 18 lakh cheque bounce cases pending in various courts, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said while piloting the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill 2015 in the House.

The bill seeks to replace an ordinance which was re-promulgated earlier. Though the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in the Budget Session, it could not be approved by the Rajya Sabha, leading to the re-promulgation of the ordinance.

"It is a small bill but has profound implications for the economy...it will further enable enforcement of contract," Sinha said, adding that the measure will help small traders, large corporates especially telecom companies which are facing a large backlog of cheque bounce cases.

Responding to members' concerns for setting a time-frame to deal with cheque bounce cases, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley intervened during the discussion to say that though there was no time-frame, the Act did provide procedures for resolution of such disputes and the onus on following them was on the courts.

He further said that the courts could send summons or notices through e-mails or any other speedier mode of communication to expedite resolution of disputes.

Jaitley was responding to concerns expressed by some members that the practice of issuing summons through the postal department was resulting in delay in resolution of cheque bounce cases.

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