- The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2015. The Bill seeks to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. The Act defines promissory notes, bills of exchange, cheques and creates penalties for issues such as bouncing of cheques.
- The Act specifies circumstances under which complaints for cheque bouncing can be filed. However, the Act does not specify the territorial jurisdiction of the courts where such a complaint is to 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.
- The Bills also amends the definition of ‘cheque in the electronic form’. Under the Act, it was defined as a cheque containing the exact mirror image of a paper cheque and generated in a secure system using a digital signature. The definition has been amended to mean a cheque drawn in electronic medium using any computer resource and which is signed in a secure system with a digital signature, or electronic system.
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