Section 138

Section 138

  1. Sec 138 NI Act:

After dishonor of Cheque/ECS/NACH/Auto Debit, we send notice to customers within 30 days from the date of return. As per the provisions of Section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, a complaint can be made about the offense of cheque bounce under Section 138 of the NI Act, within one month of the expiry of 15 days period from receipt of the notice by the drawer of the cheque if no payment is made within those 15 days.


  • Complainant will file a complaint before District Magistrate. 
  • The magistrate may issue a notice to accused if any delay in filing.
  • If there is no delay, Magistrate will issue Summon against the accused through registered post to appear in person with his advocate.
  • It also can send Summon through jurisdiction police to serve in person.
  • If a customer fails to appear before Hon’ble Magistrate on the specified date due to any issues, same should reach to the knowledge of the court through his Advocate duly giving Vakalatnama (” Vakalatnama”, is a document, by which the party filing the case authorizes the Advocate to represent on their behalf. The Advocate shall have all the right to make decisions on his own in the court of law, during the hearing, to the best interest of the client.)  
  • Considering the request, the court can give time to the accused to appear on the next date of hearing.
  • Accused should appear on all hearings which is mandatory.
  • Accused can contest the case through his advocate and justify his liability of bounced amount in the trail.
  • In case, even after receipt of Summon, if accused fail to appear, then the court is having rights to issue ‘Bailable arrest warrant’ and same will be executed through jurisdiction police
  • Post that with the police will produce the accused before the magistrate 
  • Accused can take bail through his advocate giving surety/security bond. 
  • Even after issuance of a Bailable arrest warrant, if the customer is avoiding to appear, then the court is having rights to issue a Non-Bailable arrest warrant.
  • Bail is granted for a non-bailable offense and section 138 of N.I. The act is a bailable offense, yet the Court has the power to grant anticipatory bail if a non-bailable warrant is issued by the Magistrate as the accused apprehends the arrest.  
  • After this customer/accused can contest the case defending the offense made by the complainant/Finance company   


  • Considering the facts, the documents and liability court may dismiss the case.
  • Considering the fact, documents and liability court may pass an order punishable by imprisonment up to two years or with a monetary penalty or with both. 


Present the Cheque: Cheque is valid up to 90 days on the date mentioned in Cheque.

Issue Notice: Within 30 days from the date of dishonor/bounce.

Case Filing: within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice by accused. 

Issuance of Summon: Approximately 30-90 days from the date of filing

Issuance of bailable Warrant: On the hearing date accused fail to appear even after receipt of the Summon

Issuance of Non-bailable Warrant: If the customer denies to accept Summon or deny to appear in court even after issuance of a bailable warrant.

Final Order: Depends on the case, there is no specific time limit.   


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