1) Who can file complaint under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881?
Under NI Act 1881 cheque holder can file a case irrespective of whether he is an Individual, Pvt. Ltd. Company, Limited Company or Partnership Firm (Whether Registered or Unregistered).
2) Against whom complaint case u/s 138 of NI Act can be filed, in case drawer is company (Pvt. Ltd./Limited) or partnership firm?
Complaint Case u/s 138 of NI Act can be filed against drawer of the cheque whether he is an individual, Pvt. Ltd./Limited company, or partnership firm (Whether Registered or Unregistered). But if the drawer of cheque is a Pvt. Ltd./Limited company, or partnership firm (Whether Registered or Unregistered). Then in that complaint case u/s 138 of NI Act the company/Partnership firm along with the person who signed the said cheque will be made a party to it.
3) Can an unregistered partnership firm file a complaint case?
Yes, an unregistered partnership firm can file a criminal complaint case but cannot file any civil case.
4) What to do if there is delay in filing a case?
Normally a cheque bounce case is filed within time limit but in case due to some unavoidable reason delay occurs, complaint case can be filed along with an application u/s 5 of Limitation Act to condone the delay.
5) One complaint case u/s 138 of NI Act can cover how many cheques?
Generally, in one case, 3 offences of the same year of same nature can be clubbed together. But in cheque bounce case if the transaction is same and there are many cheques, one can file a single case for all of them. And if the transactions are different then in that case not more than 3 cheques can be clubbed together in one case.
6) How much time does cheque bounce case take for trial?
It’s difficult to state t how much time will a complaint case u/s 138 of NI Act take as day by day the pendency of cases is growing before the Hon’ble Courts in India. Some new courts are also being established. Recently the government has announced digital courts in which the system of virtual hearing has started in order for speedy disposal of cases. Your case may be settled in 1 or 2 hearings or it can even take 1, 2 or more years to be decided depending on the circumstances.
7) Will the recent amendment in NI Act be applicable on the cases prior to 1st September 2018?
The newly inserted Section 143A of NI Act is not applicable on the cases filed prior to 1 Sep 2018. It is only applicable prospectively and not retrospectively. However, Section 148 is applicable on all the cases whether filed prior to amendment or later that is pending in the Court.
8) What should an accused do in case of conviction? Where can the accused go against conviction?
Accused can move to Sessions Court against conviction for that first accused has to take bail from the Trial Court.
9) What should the complainant do in case of acquittal of accused? Where can complainant go against acquittal?
If in any case the accused is acquitted, then in that regards the complainant can move to Hon’ble High Court against the acquittal of accused.
10) What to do if someone has implicated you in false cheque bounce case and how to get out of it?
If someone gets implicated in false cheque bounce case, then he should strongly present his defence and evidences in the Court and he/she will definitely get justice or in some cases he/she can even approach the Hon’ble High Court to quash the complaint case.