In a bid to reduce the number of cheque dishonor cases pending in courts, the Lok Sabha passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
The bill aims to counter the delaying tactics employed by people who want to avoid paying cheques issued by them. If it gets Parliament’s nod, it will preserve the sanctity of cheque transactions by stopping the practice of people trying to deliberately delay cases through the filing of appeals and obtaining stay an on proceedings.
The bill proposes to insert a new provision wherein a court can order the drawer of the dishonored cheque to pay interim compensation to the complainant, in a summary trial or a summons case upon framing of charges. The interim compensation will be up to 20% of the amount of the cheque. A similar provision has also been inserted in case of an appeal by the drawer of the cheque against a conviction. The appellate court may order the appellant to deposit at least 20% of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial court.
The changes were envisaged after the government received several representations from the public including traders relating to the pendency of cheque dishonor cases.
The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha for its nod.