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The offence under section 138 shall be inquired into and tried only by a court within whose local jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee, where the payee presents the cheque for payment, is situated.”. 4. In the principal Act, after section 142, the following section shall be inserted, ‘‘142A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or any judgment, decree, order or directions of any court, all cases arising out of section 138 which were pending in any court, whether filed before it, or transferred to it, before the commencement of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015, shall be transferred to the court having jurisdiction under sub-section (2) of section 142 as if that sub-section had been in force at all material times.

The offence under section 138 shall be inquired into and tried only by a court within whose local jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee, where the payee presents the cheque for payment, is situated.”. 4. In the principal Act, after section 142, the following section shall be inserted, ‘‘142A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or any judgment, decree, order or directions of any court, all cases arising out of section 138 which were pending in any court, whether filed before it, or transferred to it, before the commencement of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015, shall be transferred to the court having jurisdiction under sub-section (2) of section 142 as if that sub-section had been in force at all material times.

EXTRAORDINARY

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PART II — Section 2

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PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY

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No. 24] NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2015/VAISAKHA 16, 1937 (SAKA)

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Separate paging is given to this Part in order that it may be filed as a separate compilation.

LOK SABHA

————

The following Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 6th May, 2015:—

BILL NO. 151 OF 2015

A Bill further to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

26 of 1881. Amendment

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—

1. (1) This Act may be called the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015.

 (2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification

Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and

any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as

a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

2. In the Negotiable Instruments Act,1881 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act),

2 THE GAZETTE OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY [PART II—

(i) in the Explanation I, for clause (a), the following clause shall be substituted,

‘(a) ‘‘a cheque in the electronic form” means a cheque drawn in electronic

medium by using any computer resource and signed in a secure system with

digital signature (with or without biometrics signature) and asymmetric crypto

system or electronic signature, as the case may be;’;

(ii) after Explanation II, the following Explanation shall be inserted, namely:—

same meanings as assigned to those expressions in the Information Technology

 3. In the principal Act, section 142 shall be numbered as sub-section (1) thereof and

after sub-section (1) as so numbered, the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:—

“(2) The offence under section 138 shall be inquired into and tried only by a

court within whose local jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee, where the payee

presents the cheque for payment, is situated.”.

4. In the principal Act, after section 142, the following section shall be inserted,

‘‘142A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973 or any judgment, decree, order or directions of any court, all cases

arising out of section 138 which were pending in any court, whether filed before it, or

transferred to it, before the commencement of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment)

Act, 2015, shall be transferred to the court having jurisdiction under sub-section (2)

of section 142 as if that sub-section had been in force at all material times.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) of section 142 or

sub-section (1), where the payee or the holder in due course, as the case may be, has

filed a complaint against the drawer of a cheque in the court having jurisdiction under

sub-section (2) of section 142 or the case has been transferred to that court under

sub-section (1), all subsequent complaints arising out of section 138 against the same

drawer shall be filed before the same court irrespective of whether those cheques were

presented for payment within the territorial jurisdiction of that court.

(3) If, on the date of the commencement of the Negotiable Instruments

(Amendment) Act, 2015, more than one prosecution filed by the same person against

the same drawer of cheques is pending before different courts, upon the said fact

having been brought to the notice of the court, such court shall transfer the case to

the court having jurisdiction under sub-section (2) of section 142 before which the

first case was filed as if that sub-section had been in force at all material times.’’.

“Explanation III.—The expressions used in this section shall have the

SEC. 2] THE GAZETTE OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY 3

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 was enacted to define and amend the law relating

to Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange and Cheques. The Banking, Public Financial

Institutions and Negotiable Instruments Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988 inserted in the

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (hereinafter called the said Act), a new Chapter XVII,

comprising sections 138 to 142 with effect from 1st April, 1989. Section 138 of the said Act

provides for penalties in case of dishonour of cheques due to insufficiency of funds in the

account of the drawer of the cheque.

2. As sections 138 to 142 of the said Act were found deficient in dealing with dishonour

of cheques, the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions)

Act, 2002, inter alia, amended sections 138, 141 and 142 and inserted new sections 143 to

147 in the said Act aimed at speedy disposal of cases relating to dishonour of cheque

through their summary trial as well as making them compoundable. Punishment provided

under section 138 too was enhanced from one year to two years. These legislative reforms

are aimed at encouraging the usage of cheque and enhancing the credibility of the instrument

so that the normal business transactions and settlement of liabilities could be ensured.

3. The Supreme Court, in its judgment dated 1st August, 2014, in the case of Dashrath

Rupsingh Rathod versus State of Maharashtra and another (Criminal Appeal No. 2287 of

2009), held that the territorial jurisdiction for dishonour of cheques is restricted to the court

within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed, which in the present context is

where the cheque is dishonoured by the bank on which it is drawn. The Supreme Court has

directed that only those cases where, post the summoning and appearance of the alleged

accused, the recording of evidence has commenced as envisaged in section 145(2) of the

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, will proceeding continue at that place. All other complaints

(including those where the accused/respondent has not been properly served) shall be

returned to the complainant for filing in the proper court, in consonance with exposition of

the law, as determined by the Supreme Court.

4. Pursuant to the judgment of the Supreme Court, representations have been made

to the Government by various stakeholders, including industry associations and financial

institutions, expressing concerns about the wide impact this judgment would have on the

business interests as it will offer undue protection to defaulters at the expense of the aggrieved

complainant; will give a complete go-by to the practice /concept of 'Payable at Par cheques'

and would ignore the current realities of cheque clearing with the introduction of CTS

(Cheque Truncation System) where cheque clearance happens only through scanned image

in electronic form and cheques are not physically required to be presented to the issuing

branch (drawee bank branch) but are settled between the service branches of the drawee

and payee banks; will give rise to multiplicity of cases covering several cheques drawn on

bank(s) at different places; and adhering to it is impracticable for a single window agency

with customers spread all over India.

5. To address the difficulties faced by the payee or the lender of the money in filing

the case under section 138 of the said Act, because of which, large number of cases are

stuck, the jurisdiction for offence under section 138 has been clearly defined. The Negotiable

Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 provides for the following, namely:-—

branch of the payee, where the payee presents the cheque for payment, is

(i) filing of cases only by a court within whose local jurisdiction the bank

4 THE GAZETTE OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY [PART II—

a cheque in the court having jurisdiction under the new scheme of jurisdiction,

all subsequent complaints arising out of section 138 of the said Act against the

same drawer shall be filed before the same court, irrespective of whether those

cheques were presented for payment within the territorial jurisdiction of that

(ii) stipulating that where a complaint has been filed against the drawer of

(iii) stipulating that if more than one prosecution is filed against the same

drawer of cheques before different courts, upon the said fact having been brought

to the notice of the court, the court shall transfer the case to the court having

jurisdiction as per the new scheme of jurisdiction; and

meaning of expression "a cheque in the electronic form", as the said meaning is

found to be deficient because it presumes drawing of a physical cheque, which

is not the objective in preparing "a cheque in the electronic form" and inserting

a new Explanation III in the said section giving reference of the expressions

contained in the Information Technology Act, 2000.

6. It is expected that the proposed amendments to the Negotiable Instruments

Act, 1881 would help in ensuring that a fair trial of cases under section 138 of the said

Act is conducted keeping in view the interests of the complainant by clarifying the

territorial jurisdiction for trying the cases for dishonour of cheques.

7. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.

(iv) amending Explanation I under section 6 of the said Act relating to the

NEW DELHI; ARUN JAITLEY.

SEC. 2] THE GAZETTE OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY 5

EXTRACT FROM THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881

ANNEXURE

(26 OF 1881)

* * * * *

6. * * * *

Explanation I.—For the purposes of this section, the expressions—

mirror image of a paper cheque, and is generated, written and signed in a secure

system ensuring the minimum safety standards with the use of digital signature (with

or without biometrics signature) and asymmetric crypto system;

* * * * *

(a) “a cheque in the electronic form” means a cheque which contains the exact

————

ANOOP MISHRA

Secretary General

PRINTED BY THE GENERAL MANAGER, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA PRESS, MINTO ROAD, NEW DELHI

GMGIPMRND—930GI(S3)—08-05-2015.

AND PUBLISHED BY THE CONTROLLER OF PUBLICATIONS, DELHI—2015.

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