PARTIES TO NOTES, BILLS AND CHEQUES
Capacity to make, etc., promissory notes, etc.26. Every person capable of contracting, according to the law to which he is subject, may bind himself and be bound by the making, drawing, acceptance, indorsement, delivery and negotiation of a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque.
MinorWhere such an instrument is made, drawn or negotiated by a minor, the making, drawing or negotiation entitles the holder to receive payment of such instrument and to enforce it against any party thereto other than the minor.
Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to empower a corporation to make, indorse or accept such instruments except in cases in which, under the law for the time being in force, they are so empowered.
Agency27. Every person capable of binding himself or of being bound, by the making, drawing, acceptance or negotiation of a negotiable instrument, may so bind himself or be bound by a duly authorised agent acting in his name.
A general authority to transact business and to receive and discharge debts does not confer upon an agent the power of accepting or indorsing bills of exchange so as to bind his principal.
An authority to draw bills of exchange does not of itself import an authority to indorse.
Authority of partner5[27A. A partner acting in the firm name may bind the firm by the making, drawing, acceptance or negotiation of a negotiable instrument to the extent authorised by law relating to partnership for the time being in force.]
Liability of agent signing28.(1) Where a person signs a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque without adding to his signature words indicating that he signs it as an agent for and on behalf of a principal or in a representative character, he is personally liable thereon but the mere addition to his signature of words describing him as an agent or as filling a representative character does not exempt him from personal liability.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), any person signing a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque for and on behalf of the principal is not liable to a person who induces him to sign upon the belief that the principal alone would be held liable.
Transferor by delivery and transferee6[28A.(1) Where the holder of a negotiable instrument payable to bearer negotiates it by delivery without indorsing it, he is called a “transferor by delivery”.
(2) A transferor by delivery is not liable on the instrument.
(3) A transferor by delivery who negotiates a negotiable instrument thereby warrants to his immediate transferee, being a holder for consideration, that the instrument is what it purports to be, that he has a right to transfer it, and that at the time of transfer he is not aware of any defect which renders it valueless.]
Liability of legal representative signing29. A legal representative of a deceased person who signs his name to a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque is liable personally thereon unless he expressly limits his liability to the extent of the assets received by him as such.
Signature essential to liability29A. No person is liable as maker, drawer, indorser or acceptor of a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque who has not signed it as such:
Provided that where a person signs any such instrument in a trade or assumed name he is liable thereon as if he had signed it in his own name.
Forged or unauthorised signature29B. Subject to the provisions of this Act, where a signature on a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque is forged or placed thereon without the authority of the person whose signature it purports to be, the forged or unauthorised signature is wholly inoperative, and no right to retain the instrument or to give a discharge therefor or to enforce payment thereof against any party thereto can be acquired through or under that signature, unless the party against whom it is sought to retain or enforce payment of the instrument is precluded from setting up the forgery or want of authority:
Provided that nothing in this section shall effect the ratification of an unauthorised signature not amounting to a forgery.
Stranger signing instrument presumed to be indorser29C. A person placing his signature upon a negotiable instrument otherwise than as maker, drawer or acceptor is presumed to be an indorser unless he clearly indicates by appropriate words his intention to be bound in some other capacity.]
Liability of drawer30.(1) (a) The drawer of a bill of exchange by drawing it, engages that on due presentment it shall be accepted and paid according to its tenor, and that if it be dishonoured, he will compensate the holder or any indorser who is compelled to pay it; and
(b) the drawer of a cheque by drawing it, engages that in the case of dishonour by the drawee he will compensate the holder:
Provided that due notice of dishonour of the bill or cheque has been given to or received by the drawer as hereinafter provided.
(2) The drawee of a bill of exchange is not liable thereon until acceptance in the manner provided by this Act.
Liability of drawee of cheque31. The drawee of a cheque having sufficient funds of the drawer in his hands properly applicable to the payment of such cheque must pay the cheque when duly required so to do, and, in default of such payment, must compensate the drawer for any loss or damage caused by such default.
Liability of maker of note and acceptor of bill32.(1) In the absence of a contract to the contrary, the maker of a promissory note, by making it, and the acceptor before maturity of a bill of exchange by accepting it, engages that he will pay it according to the tenor of the note or his acceptance respectively, and in default of such payment, such maker or acceptor is bound to compensate any party to the note or bill or any loss or damage sustained by him and caused by such default.
(2) The acceptor of a bill of exchange at or after maturity, by accepting it, engages to pay the amount thereof to the holder on demand.
Only drawee can be acceptor except in need or for honour33. No person except the drawee of a bill of exchange, or all or some of several drawees, or a person named therein as a drawee in case of need, or an acceptor for honour, can bind himself by an acceptance.
Acceptance by several drawees not partners34. Where there are several drawees of a bill of exchange who are not partners, each of them can accept it for himself, but none of them can accept it for another without his authority.
Liability of indorser35. In the absence of a contact to the contrary, the indorser of a negotiable instrument, by indorsing it, engages that on due presentment it shall be accepted and paid according to its tenor and that if it be dishonoured he will compensate the holder or subsequent indorser who is compelled to pay it for any loss or damage caused to him by such dishonour.
Every indorser after dishonour is liable as upon an instrument payable on demand.
Liability of prior parties to holder in due course36. Every prior party to a negotiable instrument is liable thereon to a holder in due course until the instrument is duly satisfied.
Maker, drawer and accept or principals37. The maker of a promissory note or cheque, the drawer of a bill of exchange until acceptance, and the acceptor are, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, respectively liable thereon as principal debtors, and the other parties thereto are liable thereon as sureties for the maker, drawer or acceptor, as the case may be.
Prior party a principal in respect of each subsequent party38. As between the parties so liable as sureties, each prior party is, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, also liable thereon as a principal debtor in respect of each subsequent party.
A draws a bill payable to his own order on B who accepts. A afterwards indorses the bill to C, C to D, and D to E. As between E and B, B is the principal debtor, and A, C and D are his sureties. As between E and A, A is the principal debtor and C and D are his sureties. As between E and C, C is the principal debtor and D is his surety.
Liability of accommodation party and position of accommodation party7[38A.(1) An accommodation party is liable on a negotiable instrument to a holder in due course, notwithstanding that when such holder took the instrument he knew such party to be an accommodation party.
(2) An accommodation party to a negotiable instrument, if he has paid the amount thereof, is entitled to recover such amount from the party accommodated.]
Suretyship39. When the holder of an accepted bill of exchange enters into any contract with the acceptor which, under section 134 or 135 of the Contract Act, 1872, would discharge the other parties, the holder may expressly reserve his right to charge the other parties, and in such case they are not discharged.
Discharge of indorser’s liability40. When the holder of a negotiable instrument, without the consent of the indorser, destroys or impairs the indorser’s remedy against a prior party, the indorser is discharged from liability to the holder to the same extent as if the instrument had been paid at maturity.
A is the holder of a bill of exchange made payable to the order of B, which contains the following indorsements in blank:-
First indorsement, “B”.
Second indorsement, “Peter Williams.”
Third indorsement, “Wright & Co.”
Fourth indorsement, “John Rozario.”
This bill A puts in suit against John Rozario and strike out, without John Rozario’s consent, the indorsements by Peter Williams, and Wright & Co. A is not entitled to recover anything from John Rozario.
Acceptor bound although indorsement forged41. An acceptor of a bill of exchange already indorsed is not relieved from liability by reason that such indorsement is forged, if he knew or had reason to believe the indorsement to be forged when he accepted the bill.
Acceptance of bill drawn in fictitious name42. An acceptor of a bill of exchange drawn in a fictitious name and payable to the drawer’s order is not, by reason that such name is fictitious, relieved from liability to any holder in due course claiming under an indorsement by the same hand as the drawer’s signature, and purporting to be made by the drawer.
Negotiable instrument made, etc., without consideration43. A negotiable instrument made, drawn, accepted, indorsed or transferred without consideration, or for a consideration which fails, creates no obligation of payment between the parties to the transaction. But if any such party has transferred the instrument with or without indorsement to a holder for consideration, such holder, and every subsequent holder deriving title from him, may recover the amount due on such instrument from the transferor for consideration or any prior party thereto.
Exception I – No party for whose accommodation a negotiable instrument has been made, drawn, accepted or indorsed can, if he have paid the amount thereof, recover thereon such amount from any person who became a party to such instrument for his accommodation.
Exception II – No party to the instrument who has induced any other party to make, draw, accept, indorse or transfer the same to him for a consideration which he has failed to pay or perform in full shall recover thereon an amount exceeding the value of the consideration (if any) which he has actually paid or performed.
Partial absence or failure of money-consideration44. When the consideration for which a person signed a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque consisted of money, and was originally absent in part or has subsequently failed in part, the sum which a holder standing in immediate relation with such signer is entitled to receive from him is proportionally reduced.
Explanation – The drawer of a bill of exchange stands in immediate relation with the acceptor. The maker of a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque stands in immediate relation with the payee, and the indorser with his indorsee. Other signers may by agreement stand in immediate relation with a holder.
A draws a bill on B for Taka 500 payable to the order of A. B accepts the Bill, but subsequently dishonours it by non-payment. A sues B on the bill. B proves that it was accepted for value as to Taka 400, and as an accommodation to the plaintiff as to the residue. A can only recover Taka 400.
Partial failure of consideration not consisting of money45. Where a part of the consideration for which a person signed a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque, though not consisting of money, is ascertainable in money without collateral inquiry, and there has been a failure of that part, the sum which a holder standing in immediate relation with such signer is entitled to receive from him is proportionally reduced.
Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill8[45A. Where a bill of exchange has been lost before it is overdue, the person who was the holder of it may apply to the drawer to give him another bill of the same tenor, giving security to the drawer, if required, to indemnify him against all persons whatever in case the bill alleged to have been lost shall be found again.
If the drawer on request as aforesaid refuses to give such duplicate bill, he may be compelled to do so.]
Delivery46. The making, acceptance or indorsement of a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque is completed by delivery, actual or constructive.
As between parties standing in immediate relation, delivery to be effectual must be made by the party making, accepting or indorsing the instrument or by a person authorised by him in that behalf.
As between such parties and any holder of the instrument other than a holder in due course, it may be shown that the instrument was delivered conditionally or for a special purpose only, and not for the purpose of transferring absolutely the property therein.
A promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable to bearer is negotiable by the delivery thereof.
A promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable to order is negotiable by the holder by indorsement and delivery thereof.
Negotiation by delivery47. Subject to the provisions of section 58, a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable to bearer is negotiable by delivery thereof.
Exception – A promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque delivered on condition that it is not to take effect except in a certain event is not negotiable (except in the hands of a holder for value without notice of the condition) unless such event happens.
(a) A, the holder of a negotiable instrument payable to bearer, delivers it to B’s agent to keep for B. The instrument has been negotiated.
(b) A, the holder of a negotiable instrument payable to bearer, which is in the hands of A’s banker, who is at the time the banker of B, directs the banker to transfer the instrument to B’s credit in the banker’s account with B. The banker does so, and accordingly now possesses the instrument as B’s agent. The instrument has been negotiated, and B has become the holder of it.
Negotiation by indorsement48. Subject to the provisions of section 58, a promissory note, bill if exchange or cheque payable to order is negotiable by the holder by indorsement and delivery thereof.
Conversion of indorsement in blank into indorsement in full49. When a negotiable instrument has been indorsed in blank, any holder may, without signing his own name, convert the blank indorsement into an indorsement in full by writing above the indorser’s signature a direction to pay the amount to or to the order of himself or some other person; and the holder does not thereby incur the responsibility of an indorser.
Effect of indorsement50.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act relating to restrictive, conditional and qualified indorsement, the indorsement of a negotiable instrument followed by delivery transfers to the indorsee the property therein with the right of further negotiation.
(2) An indorsement is restrictive which either-
(a) restricts or excludes the right to further negotiate the instrument; or
(b) constitutes the indorsee an agent of the indorser to indorse the instrument or to receive its contents for the indorser or for some other specified person:
Provided that the mere absence of words implying right to negotiate does not make the indorsement restrictive.
B signs the following indorsements on different negotiable instruments payable to bearer:-
(a) “Pay the contents to C only.”
(b) “Pay C for my use.”
(c) “Pay C or order for the account of B.”
(d) “The within must be credited to C.”
These indorsements exclude the right of further negotiation by C.
(e) “Pay C.”
(f) “Pay C value in account with the Oriental Bank.”
(g) “Pay the contents to C, being part of the consideration in a certain deed of assignment executed by C to the indorser and others.”
These indorsements do not exclude the right of further negotiation by C.
Who may negotiate51. Every sole maker, drawer, payee or indorsee, or all of several joint makers, drawers, payees or indorsees, of a negotiable instrument may, if the negotiability of such instrument has not been restricted or excluded as mentioned in section 50, indorse and negotiate the same.
Explanation – Nothing in this section enables a maker or drawer to indorse or negotiate an instrument, unless he is in lawful possession or is holder thereof; or enables a payee or indorsee to indorse or negotiate an instrument, unless he is holder thereof.
A bill is drawn payable to A or order. A indorses it to B, the indorsement not containing the words “or order” or any equivalent words. B may negotiate the instrument.
Indorser who excludes his own liability or makes it conditional52. The indorser of a negotiable instrument may, by express words in the indorsement, exclude his own liability thereon, or make such liability or the right of the indorsee to receive the amount due thereon depend upon the happening of a specified event, although such event may never happen.
Where an indorser so excludes his liability and afterwards becomes the holder of the instrument, all intermediate indorsers are liable to him. Where the right of an indorsee to receive the amount due on the negotiable instrument is made dependent in the aforesaid manner the condition is valid only as between the indorser and the indorsee.
Where the indorsement of a negotiable instrument purports to be conditional, the payer may disregard the condition, and payment to the indorsee is valid whether the condition has been fulfilled or not.
(a) The indorser of a negotiable instrument signs his name adding the words-“Without recourse”.
Upon this indorsement he incurs no liability.
(b) A is the payee and holder of a negotiable instrument. Excluding personal liability by an indorsement “without recourse,” he transfers the instrument to B, and B indorses it to C, who indorses it to A. A is not only reinstated in his former rights, but has the rights of an indorsee against B and C.
Holder claiming through holder in due course53. (1) A holder who derives his title through a holder in due course, and who is not himself a party to any fraud or illegality affecting the negotiable instrument, has all the rights therein of that holder in due course as regards the acceptor and all parties to the instrument prior to that holder.
(2) Where the title of the holder is defective,-
(a) if he negotiates the instrument to a holder in due course, that holder obtains a good and complete title to the instrument; and
(b) if he obtains payment of the instrument, the person who pays him in due course gets a valid discharge for the instrument.
Rights of holder in due course9[53A. A holder in due course holds the negotiable instrument free from any defect of title of prior parties, and free from defences available to prior parties among themselves, and may enforce payment of the instrument for the full amount thereof against all parties liable thereon.]
Instrument indorsed in blank54. Subject to the provisions hereinafter contained as to crossed cheques, a negotiable instrument indorsed in blank is payable to the bearer thereof even although originally payable to order.
Conversion of indorsement in blank into indorsement in full55. If a negotiable instrument, after having been indorsed in blank, is indorsed in full, the amount of it cannot be claimed from the indorser in full, except by the person to whom it has been indorsed in full, or by one who derives title through such person.
Requisites of indorsement56.(1) Negotiation by indorsement must be of the entire instrument.
(2) An indorsement which purports to transfer to the indorsee only a part of the amount payable, or which purports to transfer the instrument to two or more indorsees severally, is not valid as a negotiation of the instrument; but where such amount has been paid in part, a note to that effect may be indorsed on the instrument, which may then be indorsed for the balance.
Legal representative cannot by delivery only negotiate instrument indorsed by deceased57. The legal representative of a deceased person cannot negotiate by delivery only a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payable to order and indorsed by the deceased but not delivered.
Negotiation of instrument of party already liable thereon10[57A. Where a negotiable instrument is negotiated back before maturity to the maker or drawer or a prior indorser or to the acceptor, such party may, subject to the provisions of this Act, re-issue and further negotiate the instrument, but he is not entitled to enforce payment of the instrument against any intervening party to whom he was previously liable.
Rights of holder57B. A holder may receive payment in due course under a negotiable instrument and further negotiate it in the manner provided by this Act; he may also sue on such instrument in his own name.]
Defective title58. When a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque has been lost or has been obtained from any maker, drawer, acceptor or holder thereof by means of an offence or fraud, or for an unlawful consideration, neither the person who finds or so obtains the instrument nor any possessor or indorsee who claims through such person is entitled to receive the amount due thereon from such maker, drawer, acceptor or holder, unless such possessor or indorsee is, or some person through whom he claims was, a holder thereof in due course.
Instrument acquired after dishonour or when overdue59. The holder of a negotiable instrument, who has acquired it after dishonour, whether by non-acceptance or non-payment, with notice thereof, or after maturity, has only, as against the other parties, the rights thereon of his transferor and is subject to the equities to which the transferor was subject at the time of acquisition by such holder:
Accommodation note or billProvided that any person who, in good faith and for consideration, becomes the holder, after maturity, of a promissory note or bill of exchange made, drawn or accepted without consideration, for the purpose of enabling some party thereto to raise money thereon, may recover the amount of the note or bill from any prior party.
The acceptor of a bill of exchange, when he accepted it, deposited with the drawer certain goods as a collateral security for the payment of the bill, with power to the drawer to sell the goods and apply the proceeds in discharge of the bill if it were not paid at maturity. The bill not having been paid at maturity, the drawer sold the goods and retained the proceeds, but indorsed the bill to A. A’s title is subject to the same objection as the drawer’s title.
Instrument negotiable till payment or satisfaction60. A negotiable instrument may be negotiated (except by the maker, drawee or acceptor after maturity) until payment or satisfaction thereof by the maker, drawee or accept or at or after maturity, but not after such payment or satisfaction.