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The time limit to send a legal notice and file a suit is expired in a cheque bounce case. What should I do now?

Home - Law - The time limit to send a legal notice and file a suit is expired in a cheque bounce case. What should I do now?

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If the time limit to send a legal notice and file a suit in a cheque bounce case has expired, there are still some options available, though they may depend on specific circumstances and judicial interpretation. Here’s what you can consider:

1. Consideration of the Limitation Period:

  • Under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the limitation period for filing a complaint under Section 138 is typically 30 days from the date of the receipt of information by the payee from the bank regarding the dishonor of the cheque.
  • If this period has expired, the court may consider the circumstances surrounding the delay, including any valid reasons for not sending the notice within the stipulated time.

2. Legal Consultation:

  • Section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act: This section deals with the procedure for filing a complaint in a cheque bounce case. Even if the time limit has expired, consulting with a lawyer experienced in cheque bounce cases is crucial.

  • A lawyer can assess whether any exceptions or extensions to the limitation period apply in your case, such as when there is a valid reason for delay (like illness or unavoidable circumstances).

3. Legal Doctrine of Continuing Offense:

  • In certain cases, courts have applied the legal doctrine of “continuing offense.” This doctrine suggests that each day the accused fails to make payment after dishonor of the cheque constitutes a new offense, potentially allowing for fresh legal action.
  • However, this interpretation can vary, and it’s important to discuss this with your lawyer to see if it applies in your situation.

4. Alternative Legal Recourse:

  • Civil Suit: Consider filing a civil suit for recovery of the amount due. This can be done within a longer limitation period (usually 3 years under the Limitation Act, 1963), which starts from the date when the debt became due (i.e., from the date of dishonor of the cheque).
  • Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC): This section governs civil jurisdiction and may provide a pathway for recovering the amount owed through a civil suit.

5. Practical Considerations:

  • Documentary Evidence: Gather all relevant documents, including copies of the bounced cheque, bank records, and any correspondence related to the transaction.
  • Legal Advice: Seek advice from a lawyer who can guide you on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case and current legal precedents.

Important Points:

  • Limitation Act, 1963: This Act provides for the general limitation periods for various civil actions in India.
  • Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881: While it specifies the procedure and timelines for cheque bounce cases, it’s crucial to understand its limitations and potential interpretations in light of judicial decisions.

Navigating a situation where the statutory time limits have expired requires careful consideration of legal options and strategies. Consulting with a lawyer will provide clarity on the best way forward based on your circumstances and the applicable legal framework.

We hope we have answered your question / query.

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Delhi Intellectual Property LLP

Phone: +91-9911456111 / +91-9911984111 / +91-9911860111 / +91-9540656111


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