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Sreekanth (SR ID)     04 May 2011

Cheque Return due to Incorrect Signature


I had issued a cheque on which I had signed against overwritten figures, i.e., I had overwritten the amount in figures and I had signed against it.

Now from my account statement I see that bank has charged me the return fee for the cheque. However, the organization to whom I had issued the cheque has not sent me any info about this. They might have tried to reach me over the phone, but since I am busy at work for the past 2-3 days I am not taking any calls.

I assume that the reason for return of cheque is due to incorrect/ discrepancy in signature. Now, legally, is this an offence? If yes, what is the course of action can the party to whom I issued the cheque can take? Considering that I didn't do that signature mistake intentionally and am ready to issue the new cheque, will I get a chance to do that?

To be honest, I don't have good relationship with the organization to whom I have issued the cheque. So, what worst could happen?

Thanks for your help.



 11 Replies

Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     04 May 2011

1.  The drawee party (cheque receiver)  is entitled to issue you a legal notice for dishonour of your cheque (due to whatever reason), demanding payment of the cheque amount.


2.  When you receive the legal notice u/s 138 of the N.I.Act,  just simply may a demand draft of the dishonoured cheque amount and send it with a covering letter to the drawee,  COMPULSORILY  under due acknowledgement.  This you would have to do it almost immediately, but not later than 15 days, of receipt of demand-notice.


The matter ends over there and the drawee party now cannot prosecute you for cheque bouncing.


Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal





1 Like

Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     04 May 2011

but I dont think 138 NI is made out in this case, if the latest SC judgment is considered.


but if the cheque bounced due to insufficient funds or the bank sends the remarks proceed exceed then certainly 138 NI is made out.

1 Like

Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     04 May 2011

Kiran Kumar'ji,


Agreed that N.I.Act is not applicable here,  BUT that can be cheque bounce reasons can be  determined ONLY during prosecution Trial, Till then the Drawer will have to go to the trouble of going to Courts.


Here IF the Drawer, settles the amount, on obvious u/s 138 demand notice,  THEN the drawee CANNOT prosecute under atleast the N.I. Act.


Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Kumar Doab (FIN)     04 May 2011

Kindly check with your bank:

The bank accepts the cheque with overwriting or not> perhaps from 1st April overwritings are not accepted.

The banks have been telling the walk in customers about this and are suppossed to display the policies in the branch on notice board.If there is no display you may put it in  record.

You can inquire and find out from your bank the reason of return of unpaid cheque e.g. insufficient funds....if it is so you may on your own contact the recipient, resolve the matter, and send payment by a/c payee DD, under acknowledgment and manage to obtain receipt from recipient and a/c statement showing credit of the payment.

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     04 May 2011

I will be obliged if I can get the citation of that SC judgement. TIll now I was under the impression that not only for "insufficient funds" but also for "stopped payment by the drawer" or " Signature differ", for whatever reasons a cheque gets dishonoured, NI Act is attracted. 

Pooja Prajapati (Legal advocate)     05 May 2011

Court's approach in adjudication of the dispute concerning the intention of the Testator. , 2. The distinction between a repugnant provision and a defeasance provision. 3. The effect of the defeasance provision.

The court must put itself as far as possible in the position of a person making a will in order to collect the testator's intention from his expressions; because upon that consideration must very much depend the effect to be given to the testator's intention, when ascertained. The will must be read and construed as a whole to gather the intention of the testator and the endeavor of the court must be to give effect to each and every disposition. In ordinary circumstances, ordinary words must bear their ordinary construction and every disposition of the testator contained in will should be given effect to as far as possible consistent with the testator's desire.

Siddamurthy Jayarami Reddy (D) by LRs. Vs.
Godi Jaya Rami Reddy & Anr.
By Aftab Alam and R. M. Lodha, JJ.
Date of Judgment : 1st April , 2011

Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     05 May 2011

dear Hemant,


its not necessary the accused in such a situation will be put to trial, now after the SC judgment the courts are outrightly rejecting the complaints.  If not instantly then at the stage of recording to preliminary evidence.


what my opinion is rather than wasting time and money on a process which is not likely to yield anything, its better to proceed under the relevant provisions of IPC.


@Suchitra ji


please find out Raj Kumar Khurana versus State of NCT (Delhi), its 2009 judgment.


otherwise it had been discussed many a times here on LCI and as usual the discussion became battle :)

1 Like

Sreekanth (SR ID)     05 May 2011

First of all, I am really grateful to all the learned people for giving me quick replies here.

I would like to clarify few points here, before asking further doubts.

Cheque would not have been returned due to insufficient funds as I had checked that the necessary amount is there in my account just about 30 minutes before the cheque was presented to the bank.
Other possibility I could think of is the mutilation of cheque. But that is unlikely because I had issued the cheque on 1st May and it was presented on 3rd of May. Mutilation, if any, would have happened during the period at which the cheque was with the drawee.
The third possibility, which I believe is more probable in this case, is that the cheque was returned due to incorrect/discrepancy in signature.

Now, considering the replies given here and my additional info above, I have couple of doubts.
1. I assume, the Drawee should send me a Demand Notice against which I need to make the payment within 15 days of its receipt. Now, considering my relationship with the Drawee is not good, is there a possibility that the Drawee can falsely claim that they have sent me the notice and I have not replied and paid the amount on my part? Or is it like I have to acknowledge the receipt of Demand Notice at my end (probably by signing some kind of Acknowledgement copy) and from that day onwards the 15 day notice period begins. Kindly note that I do not have any hesitation in paying the amount to them.
2. Kiran Kumar Sir, in your view, if 138 NI is not applicable here, what are the other possible consequences.

Thanks again for your replies.


Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     05 May 2011

Adv. Suchitra'ji,


Please check out the following link, for some useful introspection :




Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

jitendra   03 April 2016

Hello myself Jitendra M. Brahmbhatt.

Someone has made family relation with family and drawn big amount.  After asking about money that person who has taken money had given 2 cheques of same amount but cheques holder was his wife and he has intentionally sign himself on the both the cheques. 

I have gone through numbers of advocate and most of them advised me that cheque bounce due to mismatch of signature cannot be processed under NI ACT 138.

Whether it is correct?

Then everyone in the country will make wrong signature intentionally and more and more citigen of country will suffer.

Also that person is not traeable with his wife at present.  Though his native address with me but he is not staying in his native also.

Kindly guide whether sec-138,406, 420 possible.

I am also requesting to advocates who is interested in my case and take my case to victory. 

Prasun Chandra Das (Banker)     19 April 2016

Dear Sreekant


Hemant Agarwal has given you the perfect advice. If you receive demand notice, send DD by registered post with A/D. If the party files a case u/s 138 saying their demand notice was not received by you, there is no problem. On the 1st date at court, tell the court that you are ready to pay the amount immediately. I am not sure about court procedures but the Court will direct you to pay and treat the case as closed.


That will be the end of things. Dont get stressed. 

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