DELHI HC: CHEQUE NOT VALID IF WRITTEN AMOUNT IS UNCERTAIN2 min read

-Mukesh M




The Patiala House Court by the observation made by additional sessions judge Praveen Singh while hearing a revision petition held that the uncertainty in the amount mentioned by the drawer in the cheque would amount to the invalidation of the cheque. The Court found If the amount specified in the check is absurd, it doesn’t make any party to draw legal consequences under the Negotiable Instruments Act upon it. It was the case of a cheque dishonored for an error in the mentioning of amount as Forty Four Lacs Eighteen Lacs Eight Hundred and Ninety-Six only. 

The respondent complainant had sought the court of which the revision petition filed by the banker contending that the said check which is dishonored is not valid as per Sections 5 and 6 of Negotiable Instruments Act and therefore an offense under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments act cannot be an attracted. But, the respondent-complainant contented that it was only when the check is filled incorrectly and incoherent amount with minified intention. 

They Had also relied on the supreme court judgment M/S Lakshmi Dyechem v. state of Gujarat 2012-13 SCC 375, in which court has expanded the scope of expression “amount of money is insufficient” to conclude dishonor of cheques. 

                The court as per Section 5 of Negotiable Instruments Act showed five conditions are satisfied to be fulfilled for a valid negotiable instrument. It should be an instrument in writing should be containing an unconditional order signed by the maker, should be directing a certain person to pay a certain sum of money, and should be only to or to the order of a certain person or the bearer of the instrument. But in this particular case, the amount is not certain therefore it cannot be known as a valid negotiable instrument. The court also rejected the application of section 18 which says that if the amount written in figures doesn’t compare with that of words the amount in words shall be taken. But in this case, the words are in error therefore the particular section of 18 is not applied as far as the case is concerned. 

                  The court also squarely rejected the respondent’s claim of Supreme Court judgment because it was when all the five elements of the Section 5 were fulfilled before in the present case in which there is no fulfillment of the fourth element that the sum of money entered should be certain. The judges do not match it with the present case, since there is no factual compliance. The court also added the cheque was invalid because of its uncertainty and absurdity as to the amount in words. therefore an invalid instrument cannot draw legal consequences within the Negotiable Instruments Act. 

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