How to File a Cheque Bounce Case

 How to file a Cheque Bounce case?

Cheque bounce is a criminal offence in India, covered under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The following information will act a useful guide in what steps can be undertaken in case your cheque is bounced:


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Sending a Demand Notice:

Once the cheque has been returned by the bank, then before filing a legal complaint against the drawer, you must, with the help of a cheque bounce lawyer, first send a demand letter/ legal notice to such drawer within a period of 30 days from the date the cheque has been returned to you by the bank. The letter must demand the amount from the drawer and also the legal action that can be initiated against him under the Negotiable Instruments Act in case the amount is not paid within a stipulated time period (usually 15 days).


Even though there is no prescribed format for this notice, its purpose of demanding payment and informing the issuer that s/he will be prosecuted in case payment is not made should be highlighted very clearly. Further, proof of delivery of such letter should be preserved carefully.


Demand letter can be sent by the complainant her/himself. However, it is advisable to get the draft vetted by a cheque bounce lawyer before sending it to the person concerned.


 

The following information should be stated clearly in the demand notice:

A statement that the cheque was presented within its period of validity


Statement of debt or legally enforceable liability


Information regarding dishonour of cheque as given by the bank


Demanding the issuer to pay the amount due within 15 days of receiving such notice


Consult: Top Cheque Bounce Lawyers in India 

 


Drafting a Complaint:

If the drawer has not replied to your demand notice within a period of 15 days from the date of the delivery of the demand letter or has refused to pay your amount, then the next option available in such a case is to file a complaint in court within a stipulated time period of 30 days. Before filing a legal complaint, it is important to understand which court you should approach in such cases. You can file the complaint in a court within whose local limits of jurisdiction any of the following incidents have taken place:


Where the cheque was drawn


Where the cheque was presented


Where the cheque was returned by the bank


Where the demand notice was served by you


You must have all the following documents:


Complaint


Oath letter


Photocopy of all the documents such as cheque, memo, notice copy, and acknowledgment receipts


 


Payment of Court Process fees for filing a Cheque Bounce case

While filing a cheque bounce complaint, the complainant is required to pay court fees. The Court fees vary depending upon the amount of the cheque against which the complaint is being filed. The requisite court fees for various cheque amounts have been listed below:


Amount on cheque                          Court fee

Rs. 0 to Rs. 50,000/-                            Rs. 200


Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 2,00,000/-              Rs. 500


Above Rs. 2,00,000/-                           Rs. 1000


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Court Notice to Accused

After the complaint being filed by the payee, court issue summons to the accused person who owes the money to the person who filed the complaint.

 


Evidence

The Complainant with the help of his/her cheque bounce lawyer puts forward all the evidence like original bounced Cheque, Cheque Return Memo, Record of sending a demand notice to accused and all other relevant documents in support of his/her case to prove that accused is under a legal obligation to pay the stated amount in the bounced cheque.

 


Punishment and Penalty

After the whole trial process, If found guilty, the accused can be punished with a monetary penalty which may be double of the amount of cheque or imprisonment up to 2 years or both.


Consult: Top Cheque Bounce Lawyers in India 

 


Memo of Advocate is essential at the time of filing of the suit along with signatures of the complainant

After the case is filed in the court, all documents are cross-checked by Judicial Magistrate First Class, so original documents such as original cheque (bounced), original memo, a copy of the notice, receipt of the post office, receipt of U.P.C., acknowledgement receipt, are required at the time of cross-checking


The period of limitation is also verified at this stage


The Process Form, also known as the Bhatta, is filed by the complainant or lawyer, along with the address of accused


The court then issues summons to accused to appear in the court on the specific date


If the accused does not appear in court on the date of hearing, the court can also issue a bailable warrant on the request of the complainant


It the accused still does not appear before the court, the court may issue a non-bailable warrant of arrest



Important things to be kept in mind

A delay in filing the complaint after the lapse of 30 days may be excused by the magistrate only in exceptional circumstances


Dishonour of a cheque due to stop payment is also covered under Section 138 of the NI Act


Presentation of the cheque at the request of the drawer after the demand notice has been sent and the consequent dishonour of the cheque will not mean that the drawer’s time limit under the notice has increased


A cheque issued as a gift/donation/any other obligation, will not be covered under Section 138 of the Act. For this section to apply, the cheque has to carry a legal obligation


A cheque expires after three months from the date on which it is issued


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How can a lawyer help you in the process?

A lawyer having a significant amount of experience in the field of cheque bounce issues can be of great help if you are facing dishonor of cheque. An experienced cheque bounce attorney can ensure that you have made a strong case when you are filing or defending a cheque bounce complaint. He can take care of all the paperwork and can help you understand all the complexities of a cheque bounce case. He can draft and send, on your behalf, legal notice or a reply to a legal notice in case of dishonor of cheque and can track the limitation period for your case so that you do not suffer any legal damage. Thus, a cheque bounce attorney can help you throughout your legal journey and can ensure low chances of failure in your cheque bounce case.

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