On 26th July 2018, the Parliament passed a bill to amend the ‘Negotiable Instrument Act’ which aims at allowing a court to try offences related to cheque bounce expeditiously. The Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla while moving the bill for consideration and passage, said currently over 16 lakh cases of cheque bounce are pending in subordinate courts and over 34,000 such cases have further gone for appeal in the high courts.
. “We have brought the amendments to ensure that people have trust and faith on issuing cheques,” the Finance Minister said.
The amendment introduces a new provision, Section 143A in the Act. As per this provision, interim compensation not exceeding twenty percent of the cheque amount can be ordered to be paid in cases where the accused does not plead guilty in a summary trial or summons case. The interim compensation has to pay within sixty days of order. The provision further states that the interim compensation so received has to be returned by the complainant along with interest at bank rates as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India if the accused is acquitted after trial.