Legal Advice

What to do when someone forcefully took signed cheque book

Question: My friend forcefully took my signed cheque book and presented nine cheques in the bank. All cheques have bounced due to insufficient fund in my saving bank account. After that, he sent a legal notice to make the full payment in fifteen days. Sir, I want to inform you that the total amount signed in the cheque is higher than the actual outstanding. He tried to file a false case under section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act for the dishonour of cheque. Hence, he presented those cheques and served demand notice to me. I am at the verge of substantial economic crisis and not able to pay the whole amount. A lawyer friend suggested him to do that act o as to book me in a criminal case. Please help.


How could you say that he has taken those cheques forcefully? When a person issues a cheque, the law presumes that he released that cheque in discharge of liability. Section 139 of the Negotiable Instrument Act enables the court to take such presumption. Hence, a presumption of financial obligation goes against your favour.

Why did you not lodge an FIR when your friend forcefully took those cheques? Your conduct proves that you have given the cheque for the payment of existing dues. When debt is present, the law presumes that it has issued in discharge of that debt. 

Amount of cheque is higher than the actual debt

This fact goes in your favour, and it proves that your friend has dishonestly presented that cheque to initiate the criminal proceeding. When he presented those cheques for encashment, he knew the actual amount of debt. So he had no right to receive the amount higher than the real liability. This act proves that your friend had dishonest intention when he gave that cheque for clearance. 

You are debtor of your friend to a certain amount of money. So the court will presume that you have issued those cheques for the discharge of that amount. When the amount bearing in the cheque is higher than actual debt then it prima facie proves that your friend has committed fraud. 

You should lodge an FIR

The circumstances of your case require that you should immediately register an FIR. Your friend has committed forgery and attempted to extort money from you. He had knowingly and dishonestly tried to withdraw money from your account, which is higher than the actual debt. 

The act of presentation of those cheques bearing the amount higher than debt constitutes the offence of forgery. Forgery is a cognizable offence and punishable under section 465 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Send replay of demand notice

You should immediately send the reply of that demand notice because you have only fifteen days. According to section 138 of the NI Act, you have to response the demand notice within fifteen days from the date of receiving. It would be best if you gave the reason for the dishonour of those cheques.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow