The Lok Sabha passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill that allows a court hearing a cheque bounce case to direct the drawer — the person who wrote the cheque — to pay interim compensation to the person who filed the complaint.
The interim compensation, to be paid within 60 days of the court’s order, can be up to 20% of the value of the cheque. The court may direct the payee to repay the interim compensation, with interest, if the drawer is acquitted.
Earlier while moving the bill for passage, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said it will bring down ligitation and provide credibility to cheques and the banking system. He said the bill will reduce inordinate delays in cheque bounce cases. The bill seeks do away with "unnecessary” litigation in cheque dishonour cases.
"The banks would be helped by these amendments,” Shukla said urging members to support the measure.
The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in January, 2018.
Participating in the discussion, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said it was a good bill but not sufficient. He urged the government to include fast-track courts exclusively meant for cheque bounce cases.
Opposing the bill, A Sampath (CPI-M) dubbed the bill as unconstitutional and demanded that it should be withdrawn. "It is a bill for the launderers," he said.
According to the statement of objects and reasons, the amendment is introduced "with a view to address the issue of undue delay in final resolution of cheque dishonour cases so as to provide relief to payees of dishonoured cheques and to discourage frivolous and unnecessary litigation which would save time and money”. It is also stated that the central government was receiving several representations from the trading community regarding the delay in cheque dishonor cases.
Aiming to reduce delays in resolution of cheque bouncing cases, the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, will not become an Act till it is passed by both Houses. Clearance from Rajya Sabha is now awaited.