A bounced cheque is a term used to identify a cheque which is not able to get processed due to lack of fund in account or mismatch of signature etc. This is considered to be a criminal offense since this clearly reflects fraudulent interventions.
Cheque bounce cases are one of the most general cases in courts in India, with almost 40 lakh cheque bounce pending cases as per reports of the Supreme Court.
Conditions under which a cheque is bounced
1. Insufficient funds - If the account lacks an amount written in the cheque.
2. Irregular signature - If the signature on the cheque doesn’t match the specimen signature available with the bank.
3. Post-dated cheque - If the date written on the cheque is post date compared to the activation date of that cheque.
4. Stale cheque - If the cheque is submitted in the bank on a date after three months from the date written on cheque, the cheque will be dishonored by the bank.
5. Frozen account - If the account is frozen by government or bank due to specific reasons, but still you submit a cheque, then the cheque will be dishonored by the bank.
What happens after a cheque bounce?
Once a cheque is dishonored, the drawee bank will send a Cheque Return Memo to the payee banker. This will also mention the reason why the drawee bank didn’t approve of the cheque for payment. The payee banker will give the returned cheque and Cheque Return Memo to the payee.
If you receive notice regarding the bank rejecting the cheque from the drawer or bearer, contact your bank immediately to get confirmation whether the cheque was bounced at all or not. If the cheque were really bounced, the bank would soon provide the details regarding why the cheque was bounced and all the related info.
The payee may resubmit the cheque once again within 3 months gap if he is confident that it will be honored next time. But if the issuer rejects the cheque again, then the payee or holder can charge litigation against the drawer. The payee can perform so for dishonoring of active cheque under the condition that he is sure of the legal viability of the cheque.
When you receive a complaint against you for cheque bounce, you must immediately reply to the court or the bank promising to pay the drawer the money if the complaint was genuine within 15 days. If someone was trying to charge you with a false case, then you have to collect all documents as proof to prove your innocence. It is always better to consult with a lawyer to get guidance under confusing stages. The documents include,
Invoice or bill produced.
Any sale-purchase affidavit declaring the amount to be returned.
Copy of the cheque emanated.
Bank Account Statement.
If the recipient of the cheque has advanced to file a cheque bounce case against you, you must retain your matter through a good cheque bounce case attorney.
You have to file a reply to the court based on the case with which you are charged and appear before the court, either with the help of a lawyer or by yourself.
If the court is coming to realize that the cheque bounce case filed against you is bogus and has no value, then it will absolve you of all the charges.