Section 142 – The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881

The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881


142. Cognizance of offences


1[Cognizance of offences


Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).-


(a) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under section 138 except upon a complaint, in writing, made by the payee or, as the case may be, the holder in due course of the cheque; (b) Such complaint is made within one month of the date on which the cause of action arises under clause (C) of the proviso to section 138:


2[“Provided that the cognizance of a complaint may be taken by the Court after the prescribed period, if the complainant satisfies the Court that he had sufficient cause for not making a complaint within such period.]


(c) No court inferior to that of a Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under section 138].




Keeping in view the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance and other representations, it has been decided to bring out, inter alia, the following amendments in the Negotiable Instruments, Act, 1881, namely:-


(iii) to provided discretion to the Court to waive the period of one month, which has been prescribed for taking cognizance of case under the Act;


1. Ins. by Act 66 of 1988, sec. 4 (w.e.f. 1-4-1989).

2. Ins. by Act 55 of 2002, sec. 9 (w.e.f. 6-2-2003).



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The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881


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