What is the time limit for filing a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable instruments act in the court of Magistrate?

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Lily Chitlangiya asked 29-Nov-2021 in Law & Legal Issues by Lily Chitlangiya

What is the time limit for filing a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable instruments act in the court of Magistrate?

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Sanjay Goenka answered 29-Nov-2021 by Sanjay Goenka

Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act only deals with the dishonor of cheques, not with the dishonor of another negotiable instrument. And it should be filed in under 30 days of the return of the cheque as unpaid Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act 


This provision of the Law tells about the legal right of a person against the dishonor of cheques. It means when any person issues a cheque to another person and he deposits it in the bank to get the money that was promised to give by the payee, but it goes as dishonored due to the reason of the insufficiency of the money in the payee account or any other fraudulent means. Then the drawn of the cheque when not possible, the man drawer, is said to have committed an offence and can be suited buy payee.

Essential ingredients
  • The cheque must have been drawn for discharge of existing debt or liability. And it should be for the legal work. As the Supari money will not be treated as legal. And can’t be forcible to return.
  • The cheque must be presented within the 6 months of the period from the date it is drawn to the bank or within the period of its validity.
  • The cheque must be returned as unpaid due to unavailability of money or due to exceeding the amount arranged.
  • The drawer of the cheque must fails to pay the amount to the payee or in another case in due course of the cheque. He should inform within 15 days.
According to the above ingredients, the Supreme Court of India has given the jurisdiction in the case of k. Bhaskaran vs Shankaran AIR 1999 SC 3662, to start prosecution at any of the given times.
  • When the cheque is drawn
  • In a time when the payment has to be made
  • When the cheque is presented in the bank for the payment
  • When the cheque is dishonored by either means
  • When the notice is sent to the drawer
Punishment
Whoever is committing this offence shall be liable to the imprisonment of a maximum of 2 years or the fine which will be two times the cheque amount or with both 2 years jail and fine.