A Criminal Complaint u s.138 of NI Act can be filed. First a notice would be issued to the drawer of the cheque and if the payment is made within 15 days of the receipt of notice the offence of dishonour of cheque under s. 138 of NI Act is not made out.
A civil suit can also be instituted to recover the amount of dishonoured cheque.
Both the suit civil and criminal can be filed simultaneously.One does not debar the other
Bouncing of cheque is serious offence punishable with two years imprisonment and fine up to twice of cheque amount so file a complaint u/s 138 N.I.Act.Simultane ously you may file suit for recovery of cheque amount.
1-You have serve a Legal Notice to the opposite party within 30 days of the date when cheque was dishonoured.
2- if the opposite party fails in payment of the amount witin 15 days, then you must file a complaint U/s Section 138 NI Act to the Court. But is is pertinent to remember that such complaint must be filed within 30 days from the lasting of 15 days.
When a cheque is bounced a legal Notice must be served within one month (take it 30 days). In legal Notice you should mention date when amount was taken or became due, date cheque got bounced and the reason. You must give 15 days time and you must mention that if payment is not paid you will initiate legal proceedings. After legal notice sent you have 45 days time to file case i.e. after the expiry of 15 days time given you have to file case within 30 days failing which you cannot file case u/s 138 NI Act