How To File A Case Under The Negotiable Instruments Act


The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 provides the legal framework for dealing with promissory notes, bills of exchange, and cheques in India. If someone has issued you a cheque and it has bounced due to insufficient funds, you can file a case under this act to recover the amount due to you.

Here are the steps to file a case under the Negotiable Instruments Act:

Issuance of Legal Notice:

Send a legal notice to the person who issued the cheque. This notice should demand payment within a specific timeframe and clearly mention details like cheque number, amount, and reason for dishonor.

Filing of Complaint:

If there’s no response to the legal notice within the stipulated time, file a complaint in the appropriate court. Do this within 30 days of the notice period ending.

Preparation of Complaint:

The complaint should be drafted in the prescribed format (available at the court) and include:

  • Cheque details
  • Amount
  • Reason for dishonor
  • Details of the person who issued the cheque.

Filing of Complaint:

Submit the complaint to the court with jurisdiction over the case. Pay the court fee and include necessary documents like the legal notice and the dishonored cheque.

Issuance of Summons:

Once the complaint is filed, the court will issue a summons directing the person who issued the cheque to appear on a specific date.

Appearance in Court:

On the specified date, the person who has issued the cheque will have to appear before the court. If the person fails to appear, the court may issue a bailable warrant against the person.


The trial will start after the appearance of the person who has issued the cheque. You, the complainant will have to prove that the cheque was dishonored and that the person who has issued the cheque had the intention to cheat.

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After hearing the arguments of both parties, the court will give its judgment. If found guilty, the issuer may face a fine, imprisonment, or both.


If the person who has issued the cheque is not satisfied with the judgment, he can file an appeal in the higher court.

Important Note: This is a general guideline. The specific procedures for filing a case under the Negotiable Instruments Act may vary depending on the court and state where the case is filed. Consider seeking legal advice for a more tailored approach.


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