MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE
(Legislative Department)

New Delhi, the 2nd August, 2018/Shravana 11, 1940 (Saka)

The following Act of Parliament received the assent of the President on the 2nd August, 2018, and is hereby published for general information:—

THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2018

NO. 20 OF 2018

[2nd August, 2018.]

An Act further to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—

1. Short title and commencement.

(1) This Act may be called the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2018.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2. Insertion of new section 143A.

In the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), after section 143, the following section shall be inserted, namely:—

‘‘143A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Court trying an offence under section 138 may order the drawer of the cheque to pay interim compensation to the complainant—

(a) in a summary trial or a summons case, where he pleads not guilty to the accusation made in the complaint; and

(b) in any other case, upon framing of charge.

(2) The interim compensation under sub-section (1) shall not exceed twenty per cent. of the amount of the cheque.

(3) The interim compensation shall be paid within sixty days from the date of the order under sub-section (1), or within such further period not exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the Court on sufficient cause being shown by the drawer of the cheque.

(4) If the drawer of the cheque is acquitted, the Court shall direct the complainant to repay to the drawer the amount of interim compensation, with interest at the bank rate as published by the Reserve Bank of India, prevalent at the beginning of the relevant financial year, within sixty days from the date of the order, or within such further period not exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the Court on sufficient cause being shown by the complainant.

(5) The interim compensation payable under this section may be recovered as if it were a fine under section 421 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

(6) The amount of fine imposed under section 138 or the amount of compensation awarded under section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, shall be reduced by the amount paid or recovered as interim compensation under this section.”.

3. Insertion of new section 148.

In the principal Act, after section 147, the following section shall be inserted, namely:—

Power of Appellate Court to order payment pending appeal against conviction.

“148. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in an appeal by the drawer against conviction under section 138, the 2 of 1974. Appellate Court may order the appellant to deposit such sum which shall be a minimum of twenty per cent. of the fine or compensation awarded by the trial Court:

Provided that the amount payable under this sub-section shall be in addition to any interim compensation paid by the appellant under section 143A.

(2) The amount referred to in sub-section (1) shall be deposited within sixty days from the date of the order, or within such further period not exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the Court on sufficient cause being shown by the appellant.

(3) The Appellate Court may direct the release of the amount deposited by the appellant to the complainant at any time during the pendency of the appeal:

Provided that if the appellant is acquitted, the Court shall direct the complainant to repay to the appellant the amount so released, with interest at the bank rate as published by the Reserve Bank of India, prevalent at the beginning of the relevant financial year, within sixty days from the date of the order, or within such further period not exceeding thirty days as may be directed by the Court on sufficient cause being shown by the complainant.”.

DR.G. NARAYANA RAJU,
Secretary to the Govt. of India.

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7 Comments

  1. Ziya Farooqui says:

    whether the new amendment Act 2018 is prospective or retrospective, which has not specifically provided by the amendment Act, but the amendment seems more to the procedural law, thus it is a settled position that, procedural laws are retrospective in nature unless specifically notified.
    See. Hitendra Vishnu Thakur and others Vs. State of Maharashtra and AIR 1970 SC 1636
    In the above judgement, the Hon’ble High Court talks about the amendment to procedural law and substantive law.

  2. SANDIP KUMAR SANTRA says:

    Is section 143 A, applicable to pending cases in trial courts u/s 138 N. I. Act ? Is there any case law to support its application to pending cases when there is no indication in the inserted section whether it is prospective or retrospective

    1. Samarth Shrikant Karmarkar says:

      No law is construed to be retrospective unless expressly declared so, as ‘lex prospicit non respicit’ i.e. law looks forward and not backward is a general principle of law, as if it is, the recent amendment is not a declaratory statute, thereby conveying such intentions of the legislature for carrying out such amendments with context to retrospective application of the said provision

  3. tapas kumar manna says:

    the proposed amendment is defective in its wording ‘may’ and it is harsh as the bonafide innocent drawers will suffer, therefore, there must be alternative proposal. the amendment should come and operate upon the new complaints filed after amendment. when it will come into force ?

  4. Sitaram borchate says:

    Shall we apply section 143 A asking interim 20% of the cheque amount in the complaint to be presented before trial court or can it apply sepretly after original complaint has filed before trial court?

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