How to defend a cheque dishonor case

Under Bangladesh laws

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a pen sitting on top of a cheque paper
a pen sitting on top of a cheque paper

# Defending Cheque Dishonor Cases in Bangladesh

Cheque dishonor cases are a common form of legal dispute in Bangladesh, as they are in many other jurisdictions. Under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881, a dishonored cheque can lead to significant legal penalties, including imprisonment and fines. If you find yourself accused in a cheque dishonor case, it's crucial to know how to defend yourself effectively. Here are some key strategies and considerations:

## Understand the Law

The first step in defending any legal case is to understand the relevant laws and regulations. In Bangladesh, Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act governs cheque dishonor cases. According to this law, a cheque can be dishonored due to insufficient funds, or if it exceeds the amount that the drawer has arranged to be paid from their account with the bank.

## Timely Response

If you've received a notice that a cheque you've issued has been dishonored, it's essential to respond promptly. You have 30 days from the receipt of the notice to make the payment. Failing to do so within this deadline can result in the payee filing a criminal complaint against you.

## Gather Evidence

In many cases, the best defense is a good offense. Gather all evidence that may support your case. This could include bank statements showing sufficient funds at the time the cheque was presented, evidence of a stop-payment notice issued due to suspicion of fraud or misuse, or proof that the payee received the payment through other means.

## Legal Counsel

Engaging a competent lawyer is essential when dealing with cheque dishonor cases. Legal professionals can provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances, guide you through the legal process, and represent you in court. They can also help you understand the nuances of the law and devise the best strategy for your defense.

## Prove Lack of Knowledge

One potential defense in cheque dishonor cases is to prove that you had no knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. If you can demonstrate that you reasonably believed you had sufficient funds in your account when the cheque was issued, you may have a strong defense.

## Prove Absence of Liability

Another defense is to prove that the cheque was not issued for the discharge of any debt or other liability. If you can demonstrate that the cheque was a gift, or it was issued for a purpose other than the discharge of a debt or liability, you may be able to defend yourself against the charges.

## Negotiate a Settlement

In some cases, the best course of action might be to negotiate a settlement with the payee. This can result in a faster and less stressful resolution than going to court. However, it's crucial that any settlement agreement is properly documented and legally enforceable.

In conclusion, defending a cheque dishonor case in Bangladesh requires a thorough understanding of the law, timely action, the collection of supportive evidence, competent legal counsel, and strategic decision-making. Each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Always consult with a legal professional when facing legal disputes or proceedings.