negotiable instruments n.
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  2. Negotiable Instruments MEANING • A written document which creates a right in favour of some person and which is freely transferable. • Negotiable instrument means a promissory note, a bill of exchange or a cheque.

  3. A negotiable instrument is one, the legal title of which can be transferred by mere delivery or endorsement and delivery. • The title thus transferred is free from all defects and the transferee can sue in his own name. • Negotiability implies ‘easy transferability from one person to another, in return for consideration.

  4. Features • Free transfer (negotiability): There is no formality to be complied with the transfer of a negotiable instrument. It can be very easily transferred from one person to another, either by mere delivery or by endorsement and delivery.

  5. Transfer free from defects (title):it confers an absolute and good title on the transferee. Even if the transferor has a bad title to the instrument, he can still pass on a good title to any holder who takes it in good faith and without negligence and for valuable consideration

  6. Right to sue (recovery): it confers a right on the holder to sue in his own name, in case of need. • No notice to transfer: the transferor of a negotiable instrument can simply transfer the document, without serving any notice of transfer, to the party who is liable on the instrument to pay.

  7. Presumptions • A negotiable instrument is always subject to certain presumptions: • Every NI was drawn, accepted and endorsed, made or transferred for CONSIDERATION. • The date it bears is the date on which it was made. • all endorsements were made before maturity. • Every endorsements were made in the same order they appear. • Every holder is a holder in due course.

  8. Holder in due course • Holder who has received the instrument, in good faith and for value before its maturity and without any notice as to the defect in the title of a previous holder.

  9. Promissory Note An instrument in writing containing an unconditional undertaking signed by the maker, to pay a certain sum of money only to or to the order of a certain person or to the bearer of the instrument.

  10. characteristics • It is an instrument in writing • It is a promise to pay : there must be an express undertaking or promise to pay. • Use of the word ‘promise’ is not necessary, if it is implied.

  11. The undertaking to pay is unconditional • The payment should not depend upon contingencies which may or may not happen. • I promise to pay Mr. Y after marriage with Ms. X. (marriage may or may not take place). • I promise to pay as soon as possible a sum of Rs. 1000 • When able I promise to pay Ms.Brinda or order a sum of Rs. 1000 for value received.

  12. Signed by the Maker • Even though written by the promisor, it must be signed by him. • It may be in any part of the instrument. • It may be in pencil or ink, a thumb mark or initials. • Can be signed by authorised agent, but agent must expressly state as to whose behalf he is signing, otherwise he himself may be held liable.

  13. Maker must be certain • The pronote must show clearly who is the person agreeing to undertake the liability to pay the amount. • In case two or more persons promise to pay, they may bind themselves jointly or jointly and severally.

  14. Payee must be certain • The instrument must point out with certainty the person to whom the promise has been made. • In case there is a mistake in the name of the payee or his designation, the note is valid, if the payee can be ascertained by evidence. • When the name of a dead person is entered in ignorance of his death, his legal representative can enforce payment.

  15. Promise to pay money and money only • A promise to deliver goods either in alternative or in addition to money does not constitute a promissory note.

  16. Amount should be certain • The following are not promissory notes • I promise to pay B Rs. 500 and all other sums which become due The sum does not become indefinite merely because of the following reason: • Promise to pay amount with interest specified at a rate.

  17. Other formalities • The words ‘value received’ and ‘promise’ are unnecessary . • Date of instrument is material when the promise is to pay money after the expiry of a fixed term. • The Indian stamp act requires the negotiable instrument to be stamped (except cheque). Value of stamp depends on value of the note or bill. It may be stamped before or at the time of execution.

  18. Bill of Exchange • An instrument in writing containing an unconditional order, signed by the maker, directing a certain person to pay a certain sum of money only to, or to the order of a certain person or to the bearer of the instrument. • There are usually three parties to a bill • Drawer • Acceptor or drawee • payee

  19. characteristics • Must be in writing • Signed by the drawer • Drawer, drawee and payee must be certain. • The sum payable must also be certain • It should be properly stamped. • Must contain and express order to pay money and money alone. • Order must be unconditional

  20. I shall be highly obliged if you make it convenient to pay Rs. 1000 to suresh. • Please pay Rs. 500 to the order of A

  21. Difference between Bill and Pronote • Number of parties: three and two • Promise and order • Acceptance: bills after sight requires acceptance of the drawee before it is presented for payment while a pronote does not. • Nature of liability: primary and absolute in case of pronote. In case of bill its secondary and conditional.

  22. Maker’s position: In promissory note maker stands in an immediate relationship with a payee, whereas in a bill of exchange the maker stands in immediate relationship with the acceptor and not the payee. • Formalities in the case of dishonour: • Notice to prior parties • copies

  23. Classification of Bills • Inland and Foreign Bills • Time and Demand bills • Trade and Accommodation bills

  24. CHEQUE • SEC 6 defines a cheque as ‘A bill of exchange drawn on a specified banker and not expressed to be payable otherwise than on demand and it includes the electronic image of a truncated cheque and a cheque in the electronic form.’

  25. Cheque and Bill • Cheque is also a bill of exchange with three additional qualifications: • It is always drawn on a specified banker • It is always payable on demand • It includes the electronic image of a truncated cheque and also a cheque in the electronic form.

  26. Difference between Bill and Cheque. • Bill drawn on some person or firm; cheque always drawn on bank. • Drawer cannot hold the drawee liable on a bill of exchange unless the latter has accepted it. Cheque does not require acceptance. • Cheque is always payable on demand; bill may be payable on demand or on the expiry of a fixed period.

  27. Cheque is payable on demand without any days of grace but in the case of a time bill of exchange three days of grace are allowed from the due date . • Stamp • Bill must be presented, else the drawer will be discharged. Drawer of a cheque is not necessarily discharged from the liability by delay of the holder in presenting it for payment. He is discharged only to the extend of the damage If any suffered by him (holder).

  28. CONTD.. • Bill of exchange cannot be crossed • Cheques usually are not intended for circulation but for immediate payment. • Payment of a bill cannot be countermanded by the drawer. • A cheque is not required to be ‘noted’ or ‘protested’ for dishonour, but a bill may be ‘noted’.

  29. Bank draft or Demand draft • Demand draft is drawn by one branch of a bank on another branch of the same bank, instructing the latter to pay a specified sum of money to a named payee or to his order. • It is drawn by bank’s branch on another branch. • It cannot be made payable to bearer. • Its payment cannot be stopped or countermanded • It is always payable on demand.

  30. MICR • It has been introduced by RBI for speeding up the cheque clearing process. • Standardisation of quality/ size, printing of cheques. • The code line contains the following information: • First six numbers……cheque number • Next three numbers… code • Next three numbers….bank code • Next three numbers…branch code • Two numbers……Transaction code

  31. Ambiguous instrument (sec 17) • An instrument, which in form is such that it may be treated as a bill of exchange or as a promissory note. • In the following cases the bill is taken as ambiguous: • When drawer and drawee are the same person • Where drawee is a fictitious person • Where drawee is a person incapable of entering into a contract. • Holder will have to decide once for all.

  32. Inchoate Instrument • Incomplete instrument • One person signs and delivers to another person a stamped incomplete instrument. • Holder gets the authority to complete the instrument up to the value mentioned.

  33. Parties to a bill of exchange • Drawer: maker of the bill of exchange is called the drawer. • Drawee: the person directed to pay the money. • Acceptor: person who accepts (signed his assent on the bill) the bill is called the accepttor. • Payee: the person named in the instrument, to whom or to whose order the money is directed to be paid is called the payee.

  34. Indorser: when the holder transfers or indorses the instrument to any one else, the holder becomes the indorser. • Indorsee: the person to whom the bill is indorsed is called the indorsee. • Holder: the person who is legally entitled to possession of the negotiable instrument

  35. Drawee in case of need: when in the bill or in any endorsement the name of any person is given, in addition to the drawee, to be resorted to in case of need, such a person is called ‘drawee in case of need’. • If the bill is dishonoured by drawee then it must be presented to ‘drawee in case of need’.

  36. Acceptance for honour: It implies that the bill has been accepted by a third party, who is not having any obligation thereon, to save the honour of drawer or endorser.

  37. Endorsement • Section 15: when the maker or drawer of a negotiable instrument signs the same, otherwise than as such maker, for the purpose of negotiation, on the back or face thereof or on a slip of paper annexed thereto or so signs for the same purpose a stamped paper intended to be completed as a negotiable instrument, he is said to have endorsed the same and is called endorser.

  38. Kinds of endorsement… • Endorsement in blank/ General Endorsement/ bearer Endorsement The endorser signs his name only. He does not specify the name of endorsee. The effect is that, the Instrument becomes payable to bearer.

  39. Endorsement in full/ Special Endorsement Signature + direction to pay the amount to, or to the order of specified person. For ex. A cheque is endorsed in blank by X and delivered to Y. Y, may convert the endorsement in blank into an endorsement in full by writing above X’s signature “pay to Z or order”

  40. Restrictive endorsement The endorsement may by express words, restrict or exclude the right to negotiate OR may merely constitute the endorsee an agent OR to receive payment for endorser or for some other specified person. Pat the contents to C only Pay C for my use Pay C or Order for the account of B

  41. Conditional endorsement:  If any condition is added while endorsing the instrument, it is called conditional endorsement or qualified endorsement. • This type of endorsement restricts the liability of the endorser. Conditional endorsement are of the following types- • Sans recourse Endorsement • Sans frais Endorsement • Facultative endorsement • Liability of endorser depends upon a contingency.

  42. Endorsement ‘Sans Recourse’: an endorser of the negotiable instrument may, by express words in the endorsement, exclude his own liability thereon(sec52) • for example: if R endorses a cheque as follows • Pay to X or order at his own risk • Pay to C without recourse to me • He will not be liable to X or subsequent employees if cheque dishonours. • But if the endorser who excludes his liability afterwards becomes the holder of instrument, all intermediate endorsers are liable to him.

  43. ‘Sans frais’ endorsement • Where the endorser does not want the endorsee or any subsequent holder, to incur any expense on his account on the instrument, the endorsement is ‘sans frais’

  44. Facultative Endorsement: generally the endorsee must give notice of dishonour of the instrument to the endorser. • In facultative endorsement the endorser waives this duty of endorsee by writing in the endorsement ‘notice of dishonour waived’ • The endorser remains liable to the endorsee.

  45. Liability of endorser depends upon a contingency In this type of endorsement, the liability of the endorser depends upon the happening of an event. If the event does not take place, the liability of the endorser does not arise. For example, if Mr. A makes an endorsement as “Pay Mr. B on his arrival”

  46. Crossing of cheque • Crossing is an instruction given to the paying banker to pay the amount of the cheque through a banker only and not directly to the person presenting it at the counter. • A cheque bearing such an instruction is called ‘crossed cheque’. • Others without such crossing are open cheques which may be encashed at the counter of the paying banker.

  47. General crossing • Where a cheque bears across its face an addition of the words ’and company’ or any abbreviation thereof, between two parallel transverse lines, or two parallel transverse line simply, either with or without the words ‘not negotiable’ that addition shall be deemed a crossing and the cheque shall be deemed to be crossed generally.

  48. Things to be noted • Drawing of two parallel lines constitutes crossing • Line must be on the face of the cheque • Parallel to each other • In cross direction • Inclusion of words ‘& company’ is immaterial and of no special consequence.

  49. Effect of general crossing • Cheque must be presented to the paying banker through any banker and not by the payee himself at the counter • The collecting banker credits the proceeds to the account of the payee or the holder of the cheque. The latter may thereafter withdraw the money.