Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government is considering further amending the Negotiable Instrument (NI) Act to effectively deal with lakhs of cheque bounce cases by reducing timeframe for resolution of such disputes.
“As we move faster on the path of digital transactions and cheque payments, we need to ensure the payees of dishonoured cheques are able to realise the payments. The government is therefore considering the option of amending the Negotiable Instruments Act suitably,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget in Parliament.
“After cheque bounce, the litigation process is very complex and takes time. So, for traders with a bounced cheque, litigation takes a long time to recover the money,” he said.
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The Department of Financial Services is working on amendment of the NI Act to ensure the time taken to redress the cheque bounce cases is compressed, the finance minister said.
There are some suggestions that the persons whose cheque bounces should be allowed to defend the case only after depositing the money in the court first, he said.
In 2015, Parliament passed amendment to the Negotiable Instrument Act 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 in the Act had implications for over 18 lakh cheque bounce cases pending in various courts.