Tuesday, April 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Payment through cheques

CHEQUES are a convenient and accepted mode of payment in commercial transactions, and it has assumed greater importance on account of untrammelled liberalisation, globalisation and open market economy. Trade, business and commerce would come to a standstill if cheques are not accepted as a recognised means of payment.

On the other side, if cheques accepted in good faith come to be bounced often and with immunity, business would again receive a setback and the form of payment — the cheque — would become bereft of creditability, credence and confidence.

It was with this laudable objective, to make people realise their legal obligation while issuing cheques and to ensure that cheques do not get dishonoured on grounds of insufficiency of funds without making the drawer of such cheques liable to be punished under the law that Parliament introduced the Banking, Public Financial Institution and Negotiable Instruments Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988 (Act 66 of 1988), incorporating Chapter XVII, comprising Section 138 to 142, with effect from April 1, 1989, in the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1981.

  The purpose of adding this chapter was to enhance the acceptability of cheques in the settlement of liabilities by making the drawer liable for penalties in the case of bouncing of cheques due to the insufficiency of funds in the account or for the reason that it exceeds the arrangement made by the drawer. The new provision is intended to deter the issue of cheques which a drawer knows to be fake and worthless. This is besides the penal provision where a drawer has the intention to cheat and obtain the delivery of property by issuing a cheque knowing well that it shall bounce due to the insufficiency of funds in the bank account, he commits the criminal offence of cheating as defined in Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and punishable under Section 420, IPC.

So, it is suggested that the holder of the cheque must specifically specify the “cheque amount” and segregate it from other amounts if he chooses to make the demand for such amounts. The holder of the cheque must take this precaution to have the notice “technically and legally perfect”.



The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is commonly referred as the PGI. The news-item pertaining to the institute, which appear in the Press, very often use the abbreviation PGIMER for it.

The use of the short forms PGI or PGIMER does not appear to be rational. Those of us who correspond with the institute and look at their letterheads and other stationery know that “Postgraduate” is correctly expressed as one word and not split into “Post Graduate”. Appropriately, the same is the case with the name of the institute on the vehicles which we see on the roads everyday.

As such, it will be more logical to use the acronym PIMER. The institute may adopt it and popularise it. In due course the public will get to be more at ease with using the new short form, which can be pronounced with convenience.


Cess on litigants

The Tribune report, “Advocates’ Welfare Scheme launched” (April 9), emanating from Shimla, inter alia, states that funds for the scheme in question will be generated by the sale of “welfare stamps” by the Bar Council. It goes on to add that, henceforth, advocates in the state will be required to affix a “welfare stamp” of Rs 5 on each vakalatnama.

Candidly speaking, the “five-rupee stamp” affixable on each and every vakalatnama seems virtually a “cess” on the litigants for the “welfare” of advocates. What is the correct position, pray ?

Would some knowledgeable legal authority in the state throw some light on the subject?


Kashmir crisis

Much blood has flown under the bridges and drains, and now it has become almost clear that Pakistan is not going to change its scheme of creating trouble in India by one way or the other. And in my opinion, today we have only one option — to hand over the entire trouble-prone area of J&K to the Indian Army.

Our Army will do excellent work and ensure speedy restoration of peace. Kashmir, being an inseparable part of the Indian Union, cannot be allowed to bleed.


Priya Rajvansh

The alleged murder of Priya Rajvansh must have given a wrench to the delicate chords of many a human heart (“Dil ki Nazuk Ragein Tootati Hain”) in Chandigarh, for she hailed from their City Beautiful.

The films in which she made her mark as the heroine had the initial “H” such as “Hindustan ki Qasam” and “Hathon ki Lakeerein”.



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