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The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881

  • December 9, 1881
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Negotiable Instruments

THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881

ACT NO. 26 OF 1881

[9th December, 1881.]

An Act to define and amend the law relating to Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange and Cheques.

Preamble.

WHEREAS it is expedient to define and amend the law relating to, promissory notes, bills of exchange and cheques; It is hereby enacted as follows:

CHAPTER I : PRELIMINARY

1. Short title
2. Repeal of enactments
3. Interpretation clause

CHAPTER II: NOTES, BILLS AND CHEQUES

4. Promissory note
5. Bill of exchange
6. Cheque
7. Drawer, drawee
8. Holder
9. Holder in due course
10. Payment in due course
11. Inland instrument
12. Foreign instrument
13. Negotiable instrument
14. Negotiation
15. Endorsement
16. Endorsement ‘in blank’ and ‘in full’ : ‘endorsee’
17. Ambiguous instruments
18. Where amount is stated differently in figures and words
19. Instruments payable on demand
20. Inchoate stamped instruments
21. At sight, On presentment, After sight
22. Maturity
23. Calculating maturity of bill or note payable so many months after date or sight
24. Calculating maturity of bill or note payable so many days after date or sight
25. When day of maturity is a holiday
26. Capacity to make etc. promissory notes etc.

CHAPTER III : PARTIES TO NOTES, BILLS AND CHEQUES

27. Agency
28. Liability of agent signing
29. Liability of legal representative signing
30. Liability of drawer
31. Liability of drawee of cheque
32. Liability of maker of note and acceptor of bill
33. Only drawee can be acceptor except in need or for honour
34. Acceptance by several drawees not partners
35. Liability of endorser
36. Liability of prior parties to holder in due course
37. Maker, drawer and acceptor principals
38. Prior party a principal in respect of each subsequent party
39. Suretyship
40. Discharge of endorser’s liability
41. Acceptor bound, although endorsement forged
42. Acceptance of bill drawn in fictitious name
43. Negotiable instrument made, etc. without consideration
44. Partial absence or failure of money consideration
45. Partial failure of consideration not consisting of money
45-A. Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill

CHAPTER IV : NEGOTIATION

46. Delivery
47. Negotiation by delivery
48. Negotiation by endorsements
49. Conversion of endorsement in blank into endorsement in full
50. Effect of endorsement
51. Who may negotiate
52. Endorser who excludes his own liability or makes it conditional
53. Holder deriving title from holder in due course
54. Instrument endorsed in blank
55. Conversion of endorsement in blank into endorsement in full
56. Endorsement for part of sum due
57. Legal representative cannot by delivery only negotiate instrument endorsed by deceased
58. Instrument obtained by unlawful means or for unlawful consideration
59. Instrument acquired after dishonour or when overdue
60. Instrument negotiable till payment or satisfaction

CHAPTER V : PRESENTMENT

61. Presentment for acceptance
62. Presentment of promissory note for sight
63. Drawee’s time for deliberation
64. Presentment for payment
65. Hours for presentment
66. Presentment for payment of instrument payable after date or sight
67. Presentment for payment of promissory note payable by instalments
68. Presentment for payment of instrument payable at specified place and not elsewhere
69. Instrument payable at specified place
70. Presentment where no exclusive place specified
71. Presentment when maker etc. has no known place of business or residence
72. Presentment of cheque to charge drawer
73. Presentment of cheque to charge any other person
74. Presentment of instrument payable at demand
75. Presentment by or to agent, representative of deceased, or assignee of insolvent
75-A. Excuse for delay in presentment for acceptance or payment
76. When presentment unnecessary
77. Liability of banker for negligently dealing with bill presented for payment

CHAPTER VI: PAYMENT AND INTEREST

78. To whom payment should be made
79. Interest when rate specified
80. Interest when no rate specified
81. Delivery of instrument on payment or indemnity in case of loss

CHAPTER VII : DISCHARGE FROM LIABILITY ON NOTES, BILLS AND CHEQUES

82. Discharge from liability
83. Discharge by allowing drawee more than 48 hours to accept
84. When cheque not duly presented and drawer damaged thereby
85. Cheque payable to order
85-A. Drafts drawn by one branch of a bank on another payable to order
86. Parties not consenting discharged by qualified or limited acceptance
87. Affect of material alteration
88. Acceptor or endorser bound notwithstanding previous alteration
89. Payment of instrument on which alteration is not apparent
90. Extinguishment of rights of action on bill in acceptor’s hands

CHAPTER VIII: NOTICE OF DISHONOUR

91. Dishonour by non-acceptance
92. Dishonour by non-payment
93. By and to whom notice should be given
94. Mode in which notice may be given
95. Party receiving must transmit notice of dishonour
96. Agent for presentment
97. When party to whom notice given is dead
98. When notice of dishonour is unnecessary

CHAPTER IX: NOTING AND PROTEST

99. Noting
100. Protest
101. Contents of protest
102. Notice of protest
103. Protest for non-payment after dishonour by non-acceptance
104. Protest of foreign bills
104-A. When noting equivalent to protest

CHAPTER X : REASONABLE TIME

105. Reasonable time
106. Reasonable time of giving notice of dishonour
107. Reasonable time for transmitting such notice

CHAPTER XI : ACCEPTANCE AND PAYMENT FOR HONOUR AND REFERENCE IN CASE OF NEED

108. Acceptance for honour
109. How acceptance for honour must be made
110. Acceptance not specifying for whose honour it is made
111. Liability of acceptor for honour
112. When acceptor for honour may be charged
113. Payment for honour
114. Right of payer for honour
115. Drawee in case of need
116. Acceptance and payment without protest

CHAPTER XII : COMPENSATION

117. Rules as to compensation

CHAPTER XIII: SPECIAL RULES OF EVIDENCE

118. Presumptions as to negotiable instruments
119. Presumption on proof of protest
120. Estoppel against denying original validity of instrument
121. Estoppel against denying capacity of payee to endorse
122. Estoppel against denying signature or capacity of prior party

CHAPTER XIV: CROSSED CHEQUES

123. Cheque crossed generally
124. Cheque crossed specially
125. Crossing after issue
126. Payment of cheque crossed generally
127. Payment of cheque crossed specially more than once
128. Payment in due course of crossed cheque
129. Payment of crossed cheque out of due course
130. Cheque bearing ‘not negotiable’
131. Non-liability of banker receiving payment of cheque
131-A. Application of chapter to drafts

CHAPTER XV: BILLS IN SETS

132. Set of bills
133. Holder of first acquired part entitled to all

CHAPTER XVI: INTERNATIONAL LAW

134. Law governing liability of maker, acceptor or endorser of foreign Instrument
135. Law of place of payment governs dishonour
136. Instrument made, etc. out of India, but in accordance with the law of India
137. Presumption as to foreign law

CHAPTER XVII: PENALTIES IN CASE OF DISHONOUR OF CERTAIN CHEQUES FOR INSUFFICIENCY OF FUNDS IN THE ACCOUNTS

138. Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the accounts
139. Presumption in favour of holder
140. Defence which may not be allowed in any prosecution under section 138
141. Offences by companies
142. Cognizance of offences
142A. Validation for transfer of pending cases
143. Power of Court to try cases summarily
144. Mode of service of summons
145. Evidence on affidavit
146. Banks slip prima facie evidence of certain facts
147. Offences to be compoundable

Schedule-Enactments Repealed

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