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Exclusive: Finance Ministry against decriminalising bouncing of cheques under Negotiable Instrument act; Cab Sec to take final call
Department of Financial Services (DFS) which comes under the Ministry of Finance is opposed to the suggestion of decriminalising offences related to cheque bouncing cases.
Department of Financial Services (DFS) which comes under the Ministry of Finance is opposed to the suggestion of decriminalising offences related to cheque bouncing cases, even as a temporary measure to those whose businesses got adversely impacted due to Covid 19 outbreak. According to sources, majority of the public opinion received by DFS is against reclassifying bouncing of cheque into a civil offence. However, final call will be taken by the Cabinet Secretariat.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the announcement of economic package under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan had said the minor economic offences would be decriminalised to help businesses tide over the financial crisis caused by Covid 19 pandemic, following which DFS had listed 19 acts for amendments. In other laws also which come under its purview, DFS has cited its reservations on decriminalising economic offences to the Cabinet Secretariat.
"None of the 19 acts which comes under the administrative purview of DFS should be decriminalised. Majority of the public comments received by us are also not in favour of reclassifying these into civil offences. We have given our suggestions to the Cabinet Secretariat and it will take a final call," a source privy to this development revealed exclusively to Zee Business.
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Reclassifying cheque bounce offence into civil offence will unnecessarily burden the courts and payment through cheque will lose its essence as it is considered the most reliable mode of payment only because of the criminal provision attached to it under the negotiable instruments act, the source cited above added further. In cheque bounce cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act, there is a provison for imprisonment of up to two years or monetary penalty or both.
Besides, negotiable instrument act, DFS had sought public comments for amendments in banking regulation act, insurance act, payment and settlement system act, IRDA act, SARFAESI act, NABARD act, NHB act, state financial corporations act, credit information companies act, factoring regulation act, actuaries act, general insurance business act, LIC act, banning of unregulated deposits scheme act, chit funds act, DICGC act and prize chits and money circulation act.
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