Cheques play a very important role in commercial transactions and business. When the cheque bounces the payee should issue a written notice to the drawer within 30 days of receipt of information from bank about return of cheque as unpaid. Under Negotiable Instruments Act 1881, notice plays a very important role, where the non-payment of dishonoured cheque within 15 days from receipt of notice, will constitute an offence. Any demand that is made once the dishonour of cheque happens will be considered as a notice but it should usually be in written form. There is no general format or style required to send the notice but only essential thing is that there was a demand to pay the amount of dishonoured cheque by the drawee of the cheque. Upon receipt of the notice from payee if the drawer fails to make payment within 15 days, then the cause of action arise for filing a complaint when the notice period expires. So there is no need for re-issue of notice you can directly file a complaint against the offender. A pleader can present your complaint in a competent court.
Supreme Court has also held that to file a complaint against the offender can only be done after a notice is issued to the drawer within specified period of time. Notice should be given in correct address and if not given to proper address it does not comply with statutory requirement of notice. Notice served upon the drawer can be proved by giving the postal receipt or calling record of post office if postal receipt is not there. If the notice does not have post office seal at the time of sending to addressee it cannot be accepted as complied with Section 138(b) provisions.
Madhu v. Omega Pipes Ltd., (18 January, 1994)Kerala High Court has correctly said that legal position of notice is giving and receiving process. In another case Shakti Travel and Tours v. State of Bihar & Another, (20 April, 2000)Supreme Court held that complaint under Section 138 where demand notice had not served on accused was not maintainable and so the matter was quashed. So notice plays a major role under this Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act.
by Sushma Javare.