A two-judge bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna in the Supreme Court has observed that a person signing the cheque is liable even when the details are filled by another person. The remarks were made while allowing an appeal in a cheque bounce case.
The accused in the case admitted to giving a blank signed cheque to a payee. Delhi High Court had granted permission to engage a handwriting expert to determine whether the details were in his hand.
The Supreme Court observed that the signing of a cheque by the drawer is enough to make the drawer liable and a handwriting expert’s report that the drawer did not fill the cheque can not have any effect on the legality of the liability.
The Supreme Court, in May this year, directed the constitution of special courts with a retired judge in five states for speedy disposal of cheque bounce cases. Under the Negotiable Instruments Act (NI), the special courts were set up in the states of Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in view of a high number of pending cases. The Supreme Court had previously issued a number of directives to ensure the swift resolution of cheque bounce cases across the nation.
The Supreme Court has also requested the Centre to amend the law to ensure that trials in cases against the same person within a year and connected to the same transaction, are joined.
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