The Cheque you deposited in your account has bounced and you have no other recourse? We can guide you step by step.
When a cheque is dishonoured, the drawee bank immediately issues a ‘Cheque Return Memo’ to the banker of the payee mentioning the reason for non-payment. The holder or payee can resubmit the cheque within three months of the date on it, if he believes it will be honoured the second time. However, if the cheque issuer fails to make a payment, then the payee has the right to prosecute the drawer legally.
You can now legally sue the issuing party towards the discharge of debt or any other related liability.
According to Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the dishonour of cheque is a criminal offence and is punishable by imprisonment up to two years or with monetary penalty or with both.
Conditions for prosecution
Legally, certain conditions have to be fulfilled in order to use the provisions of Section 138.
- The cheque should have been drawn by the drawer on an account maintained by him.
- The cheque should have been returned or dishonoured because of insufficient funds in the drawer's account.
- The cheque is issued towards discharge of a debt or legal liability.
- After receiving the notice, if the drawer doesn't make the payment within 15 days from the day of receiving the notice, then he commits an offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
- In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that cheque return cases can be filed in a court where the issuer (drawer) maintains his account. This resulted in shifting of lakhs of cases from one town to the other and caused complainants difficulties.