Negotiable Instruments

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  • Topic: Negotiable instrument, Promissory note, Bearer instrument
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Subject: Principles of Insurance and Banking Course Code: FM-306 Lesson: 1 Author: Dr. S.S. Kundu Vetter: Dr. B.S. Bodla

NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881
STRUCTURE
1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Objectives Introduction Meaning of Negotiable Instruments Characteristics of a negotiable instrument Presumptions as to negotiable instrument Types of negotiable Instrument 1.5.1 Promissory notes 1.5.2 Bill of exchange 1.5.3 Cheques 1.5.4 Hundis 1.6 Parties to negotiable instruments 1.6.1 Parties to Bill of Exchange 1.6.2 Parties to a Promissory Note 1.6.3 Parties to a Cheque 1.7 1.8 Negotiation 1.7.1 Modes of negotiation Assignment 1.8.1 Negotiation and Assignment Distinguished 1.8.2 Importance of delivery in negotiation 1.9 Endorsement 1.10 Instruments without Consideration 1.11 Holder in Due Course

1.12 Dishonour of a Negotiable instrument 1.13 Noting and protesting 1.14 Summary 1.15 Keywords 1.16 Self Assessment Questions 1.17 References/Suggested readings

1.0 OBJECTIVES
After reading this lesson, you should be able to• • • • Understand meaning, essential characteristics and types of negotiable instruments; Describe the meaning and marketing of cheques, crossing of cheques and cancellation of crossing of a cheque; Explain capacity and liability parties to a negotiable instruments; and Understand various provisions of negotiable instrument Act, 1881 regarding negotiation, assignment, endorsement, acceptance, etc. of negotiable instruments.

1.1 INTRODUCTION
The Negotiable Instruments Act was enacted, in India, in 1881. Prior to its enactment, the provision of the English Negotiable Instrument Act were applicable in India, and the present Act is also based on the English Act with certain modifications. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Act operates subject to the provisions of Sections 31 and 32 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Section 31 of the Reserve Bank of India Act provides that no person in India other than the Bank or as expressly authorised by this Act, the Central Government shall draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of 2

money payable to bearer on demand. This Section further provides that no one except the RBI or the Central Government can make or issue a promissory note expressed to be payable or demand or after a certain time. Section 32 of the Reserve Bank of India Act makes issue of such bills or notes punishable with fine which may extend to the amount of the instrument. The effect or the consequences of these provisions are: 1. A promissory note cannot be made payable to the bearer, no matter whether it is payable on demand or after a certain time. 2. A bill of exchange cannot be made payable to the bearer on demand though it can be made payable to the bearer after a certain time. 3. But a cheque {though a bill of exchange} payable to bearer or demand can be drawn on a person’s account with a banker.

1.2 MEANING OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS
According to Section 13 (a) of the Act, “Negotiable instrument means a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable either to order or to bearer, whether the word “order” or “ bearer” appear on the instrument or not.” In the words of Justice, Willis, “A negotiable instrument is one, the property in which is acquired by anyone who takes it bonafide and for value notwithstanding any defects of the title in the person from whom he took it”. Thus, the term, negotiable instrument means a written document which creates a right in favour of some person and which is freely transferable. Although the Act mentions only these three instruments (such as a promissory note, a bill of exchange and cheque), it does not

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exclude the possibility of adding any other instrument which satisfies the following two conditions of negotiability: 1. the instrument should be freely transferable (by delivery or by endorsement. and delivery) by the custom of the...
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