August 6, 2018
The Central Government has notified amendment to one of the most essential legislation i.e. the Negotiable Instrument (Amendment) Act, 2018.
The Amendment incorporates Section 143A in the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 which provides for the Power to provide for interim compensation to the complainant.
The insertion of new provisions in the NI Act aims at addressing the issue of undue delay in finality of cheque dishonor cases. It is believed that the amendment will strengthen the credibility of cheques and help trade and commerce in general.
- The new Section 143 A empowers the Court trying an offence under Section 138 of the NI Act (cheque dishonor cases) order the drawer of the cheque to pay interim compensation to the complainant. The interim compensation so payable shall be twenty percent of the amount of the impugned cheque. Earlier, there was no such relief available to the complainant under the Act.
- The Amendment also inserts new Section 148, whereby in an appeal by the drawer against conviction under Section 138 of the NI Act, the Appellate Court may order the appellant to deposit such sum which shall be a minimum of twenty percent of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial Court. However, if the appellant is acquitted, then the Court shall direct the complainant to repay to the appellant the amount so released, with interest.
The Amendment to the NI Act can be accessed here.