Bill to reduce delay in cheque bounce cases tabled in Lok Sabha

Bill to reduce delay in cheque bounce cases tabled in Lok Sabha

A bill to reduce delay in cheque bounce cases and payment of interim compensation was introduced in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by Minister of State Finance Shiv Prasad. According to its provisions, the compensation will be a part of the cheque amount, which could be given both at the trial stage and the appellate state of the litigation.

If the drawer (one who wrote out the cheque) is acquitted, the court may direct the payee to repay the amount paid as interim compensation with interest. Similarly, the appellate courts would be enabled to order the appellant to deposit a part of the compensation awarded by the trial courts at the time of filing appeal.

"The government has been receiving several representations from the public, including the trading community, relating to pendency of cheque dishonour cases. This is because of delaying tactics of unscrupulous drawers of dishonoured cheques due to easy filing of appeals and obtaining stay on proceedings," the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill said.

More than 18 lakh cheque bounce cases are stated to be pending in various courts in the country. It has also resulted in incalculable loss and inconvenience to payees and eroded the credibility of cheques to a large extent.

A payee of a dishonoured cheque has to generally spend considerable time and resources in court proceedings to realise the value of the cheque. Such delays compromise the sanctity of cheque transactions.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made an announcement to this effect in the Budget 2017-18. "As we move faster on the path of digital transactions and cheque payments, we need to ensure that the payees of dishonoured cheques are able to realise the payments. The government is, therefore, considering the option of amending the Negotiable Instruments Act suitably," Jaitley had said.

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