Parliament on Friday cleared a Bill providing for filing of cheque bounce cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the place of issue.
The amendments incorporated in the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill affected by the Rajya Sabha were passed in the Lok Sabha with voice vote and without a debate. The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance which was re-promulgated earlier. Minister of state for Finance, Jayant Sinha moved the Bill in the House.
The amendments in the Negotiable Instruments Act will have implications for over 18 lakh cheque bounce cases pending in various courts.
The amendment, which enables filing of cheque bounce cases in the place where the cheque was presented for clearance or payment and not the place of issue, seeks to overturn a Supreme Court ruling which said the cases have to be initiated where the issuing branch was located.
An estimated 18 lakh cheque bounce cases are there across the country, of which about 38,000 are pending in High Courts. The amendment provides 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.
Pointing out that many Bills, that are passed by the Lok Sabha, are returning to the House with changes suggested by the Rajya Sabha, CPI-M’s Mohd Salim said it is in violation of the Lok Sabha’s dignity that such Bills had to be passed by it again.