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MUNEESH DHAWAN (Advocate)     13 August 2008

Sec. 138 Judgement Required

Is there any recent Supreme Court judgement which states that Sec. 138 is not maitainable when return memo shows bouncing reason as  signature different?


 4 Replies

Brijesh (Lawyer)     26 August 2008


This is a kind of subterfuge that may be adopted by drawers of cheques by not making proper signature and try to supervene to cover up the real reason for the dishonour of cheque and in such cases the real reasons of dishonor of cheque i.e. insufficiency of fund is completely eclipsed and the drawer would be able to display the other reason for dishnour of cheque.

However Supreme Court has held that in case the cheque is returned for any other reasons such as mentioned by you, signature different, stop payment i.e. other than "Insufficient Fund, then also the drawer will be liable to penal action u/s. 138 of NIA. As notice is always served on the drawer for making payment of the cheque returned and as he fails to comply with the same, then he is liable for penal action under provisions of the act.


sanjay kumar patibandla (advocate)     29 August 2008

The defenation of 138 of N I Act it self reflects that "signature diffrent" won't comes under the perview of 138 of N I Act. 

Guest (n/a)     01 September 2008

Dear Dhawan,

In ur situation, if the case has already been filed then, u will have to prove that :

1. the cheque was not handed over to the complainant by ur client

2. that the handwriting of the details filed in th cheque and the sign on the cheque does not match ur clients handwriting

3. No liability exists

4. If the cheque was lost from the possession of the client then a Police Complaint was made on coming to know of the fact that the same is misused, and forged

siddhartha shankar mishra (Lawyer)     20 January 2011

Is there any specific citation in this matter?

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