Apex Court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax, Bombay South, Bombay vs. M/s. Ogale Glass Works Ltd. A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 429 observed that "when it is said that a payment by negotiable instrument is a conditional payment what is meant is that such payment is subject to a condition subsequent that if the negotiable instrument is dishonoured on presentation the creditor may consider it as waste paper and resort to his original demand."
The Supreme Court further relied upon Benjamin on Sale, 8th Edition, p. 788, wherein it was held that "The payment takes effect from the delivery of the bill, but is defeated by the happening of the condition, i.e. non-payment at maturity." The Apex Court approved the position summarised in Byles on Bills, 20th Edition, p.23, which stated, "A cheque, unless dishonoured, is payment". The Apex Court stated the legal position thus: "The position, therefore, is that in one view of the matter there was, in the circumstances of this case, an implied agreement under which the cheques were accepted unconditionally as payment and on another view, even if the cheques were taken conditionally, the cheques not having been dishonoured but having been cashed, the payment related back to the dates of the receipt of the cheques and in law the dates of payments were the dates of the delivery of the cheques."
Thus, payment by cheque is payment and is only contingent if dishonoured.