Duties and obligations of paying banker and collecting banker -------------------------------------------------
Under N.I act, 1881.
* A Banker on whom a cheque is drawn should pay the cheque when it is presented for payment. * This cheque paying function is a distinguished one of a banker. * This obligation has been imposed on him by sec. 31 of the N.I Act, 1881. * A banker is bound to honour his customer’s cheque, to the extent of the funds available and the existence of no legal bar to payment. * Again, for making payment the cheque must be in order and it must be duly presented for payment at the branch where the account is kept. * The paying banker should use reasonable care and diligence in paying a cheque, so as to abstain from any action likely to damage his customer’s credit. * If the paying banker wrongfully dishonours a cheque, he will be asked to pay heavy damages. * At the same time, if he makes payment in a hurry, even when there is sufficient balance, the banker will not be allowed to debit the customer’s account. If he does so, it will amount to sanctioning of overdraft without prior arrangement, and later on, the customer can claim it as precedent and compel the banker to pay cheque in the absence of sufficient balance. His position is very precarious and is in between the devil and the deep sea.
PRECAUTIONS BEFORE HONORING A CHEQUE
In order to safeguard his position, the paying banker has to observe the following precautions before honouring a cheque.
Presentation of The Cheque
(a) Type of the cheque: Before honouring a cheque, he must find out the type to which it belongs. Cheques may generally be of two types- open or crossed. If it is an open one, the payment may be made at the counter. If it is crossed, the payment must be made only to fellow banker. If it is specially crossed, the payment must be specifically made to that banker in whose favour it has been crossed. If there are ‘A/C Payee’ and ‘Not Negotiable’ crossings the paying banker need not worry, as they are the directions only to the collecting banker. If the paying banker pays a cheque contrary to the crossing, he is liable to the drawer. Therefore, he must pay special attention to the type of a cheque. (b) Branch: The Paying banker should see whether the cheque is drawn on the branch where the account is kept. If it is drawn on another branch, without any prior arrangement, the banker can safely return the cheque. (c) Account: Even in the same branch, a customer might have opened two or more accounts. Hence, the paying banker should see that the cheque of one account is not used for withdrawing money from another account. (d) Banking hours: The paying banker should also note whether the cheque is presented during the banking hours on a business day. Payment outside the banking hours does not amount to payment in due course. (e) Mutilation: If a cheque is torn into pieces or cancelled or mutilated, then, the paying banker should not honour it. He should return the cheque for the drawer’s confirmation. In a case cheque is torn accidentally, the drawer must confirm it by writing such words as ‘Accidentally torn by me’ and affixing his full signature. A cheque torn into two or more pieces is generally returned with a remark ‘Mutilated’.
Form of cheque:
Printed form: The cheque must be in proper form. It must satisfy all the requirements of law. The customers should draw cheques only on the printed leaves supplied by the bankers. Unconditional order: The cheque should not contain any condition. If it is a conditional one, the paying banker’s position will become critical and he may not honour it. Date: Before honouring a cheque, the bank must see whether there is a date on the instrument. If it is undated, it cannot be regarded as a valid instrument. If a cheque is ante- dated, it may be paid if it has not become stale by that time. A...