Madurai, Sep 17: The Madras High Court bench here has ruled that there is no need for a complainant in a cheque bounce case to wait for the 15-day statutory period after sending a legal notice to initiate prosecution, if the borrower denies any liability at the outset.
Justice S Vimala gave the ruling yesterday while dismissing a petition, seeking quashing of a cheque bounce case, pending in a lower court, on the ground that the complainant had moved court before the statutory period of 15 days ended.
The judge said the Negotiable Instruments Act provided the "breather" period to enable borrowers discharge their liabilities if they had issued cheques without funds in their accounts and rectify the mistake.
But, if the drawer denied the liability, claiming that he had not taken any loan, then the drawee could lodge a complaint immediately, the judge ruled.
The petitioner had borrowed Rs six lakh from the complainant for his sister's wedding in April 2012, promising to repay it within six months, but failed to do so and his cheque dated September 22, 2012 bounced.
Following this, the lender had sent a legal notice and filed a cheque bounce case before a judicial magistrate's court on October 11, 2012 as the petitioner had sent a reply, denying that he had borrowed the amount.
The petitioner had contended that the case should be quashed as it was filed before the statutory period of 15 days, from the day the notice was received, had ended.