Sunday, 10 August 2014

SC on Territorial Jurisdiction : NI Act

SC on Territorial Jurisdiction:NI Act (Cheque Bouncing)

A 3-Judge Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court, in its landmark judgement has settled issues related to Court’s territorial jurisdiction concerning criminal complaints filed under Chapter XVII of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (for short, ‘the NI Act’).

Points to Note:

(1) The return of the cheque by the drawee bank alone constitutes the commission of the offence and indicates the place where the offence is committed.

(2) The place, situs or venue of judicial inquiry and trial of the offence must logically be restricted to where the drawee bank, is located.

(3) The territorial jurisdiction is restricted to the Court within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed, which in the present context is where the cheque is dishonoured by the bank on which it is drawn.

(4) Only those cases where, post the summoning and appearance of the alleged Accused, the recording of evidence has commenced as envisaged in Section 145(2) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, will proceeding continue at that place. 

(5) Regardless of whether evidence has been led before the Magistrate at the pre-summoning stage, either by affidavit or by oral statement, the Complaint will be maintainable only at the place where the cheque stands dishonoured. 

(6) The category of Complaint cases where proceedings have gone to the stage of Section 145(2) or beyond shall be deemed to have been transferred from the Court ordinarily possessing territorial jurisdiction, as now clarified, to the Court where it is presently pending. All other Complaints (including those where the accused/respondent has not been properly served) shall be returned to the Complainant for filing in the proper Court.

(7) If such Complaints are filed/refiled within thirty days of their return, they shall be deemed to have been filed within the time prescribed by law, unless the initial or prior filing was itself time barred.

(8) The relief introduced by Section 138 of the NI Act is in addition to the contemplations in the IPC. It is still open to such a payee recipient of a dishonoured cheque to lodge a First Information Report with the Police or file a Complaint directly before the concerned Magistrate.

PS: We do not accept any liability arising out of use of above information. Users are advised to apply their own thoughts and experience in above case.

Case Number: 

Case Title:
Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod Versus State of Maharashtra & Anr.

Hon'ble Justice T.S. THAKUR
Hon'ble Justice VIKRAMAJIT SEN
Hon'ble Justice C. NAGAPPAN

Date of Judgement: 
1st August 2014

Blog Link:

Full judgement / Order Link:


  1. Pl confirm the status about At par cheques

    1. Though it is subject to clarification & interpretation, but it should lie at the principal branch where the drawee holds bank account. Branch details are normally printed on all cheques.