Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Why such an amendment was needed ?
In parent act, where the sufferers are mostly middle and lower-middle classes, there is no time stipulated as regards in how many days the trial would be completed.

The present bill being soft in nature makes it easy for people with bad intentions to adopt delaying tactics while it comes to paying the amount of cheques issued by them.

Additionally, 16 lakh cases in subordinate courts and 35,000 cases in higher court of cheque bouncing are still waiting to be concluded, the new amendment is also aimed to deduce these numbers.

What is Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 ?

The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is passed in Lok sabha to deal firmly with cheque bounce cases, the new bill will preserve the sanctity of cheque transactions by stopping the practice of people trying to deliberately delay cases.

The bill proposes to insert a new provision wherein a court is allowed to try an offence related to cheque bouncing and to direct the drawer(issuer) to pay interim compensation to the complainant(payee). The compensation not more than 20 per cent of the amount written on cheque, will have to be paid by the drawer within 60 days of court's order.

A similar provision has also been inserted in case of an appeal is filed by the drawer of the cheque against a conviction. The appellate court may order the appellant to deposit at least 20 per cent of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial court.

Way ahead
While the new changes in the bill will decrease the burden on courts by stopping the practice of people trying to deliberately delay cases.

The government should adopt more punitive measures and best practices as prevalent in other countries, in France for instance a cheque defaulter's name is added to a central register known as the FCC and he is banned from issuing any cheque for a period of five years.

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