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Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 consented by Rajya Sabha

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Rajya Sabha has passed the Negotiable Instrument (Amendment) Bill 2015 which amends the clauses relating to the territorial jurisdiction for filing Cheque dishonor Cases. The Bill provides for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the place of issue.

  • It will amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 which defines bills of exchange, promissory notes, cheques and creates penalties for issues such as bouncing cheques.
  • Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2015.
  • There are an estimated 18 lakh cheque bounce cases across the country, of which about 38,000 are pending in High Courts.

Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 consented by Rajya SabhaProvisions of Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The Act specifies circumstances under which complaints for cheque bouncing can be filed.

  • The Bill amends the Act to state that cases of bouncing of cheques can be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee (person who receives the cheque) lies.
  • If a complaint against a person issuing a cheque has been filed in the court with the appropriate jurisdiction, then all subsequent complaints against that person will be filed in the same court, irrespective of the relevant jurisdiction area.
  • If more than one case is filed against the same person before different courts, the case will be transferred to the court with the appropriate jurisdiction.

Amendment in the definition of “cheque in the electronic form”
The Bills also amends the definition of “cheque in the electronic form”.

  • Existing definition – Cheque containing the exact mirror image of a paper cheque and generated in a secure system using a digital signature.
  • Amended definitionCheque drawn in electronic medium using any computer resource and which is signed in a secure system with a digital signature, or electronic system.