How to process for Cheque Bounce in India?

Cheque Bounce

The word bounce is an informal alternative for the word dishonour. A cheque is said to be bounced or dishonoured when it is returned by the bank unpaid. However, the cheque bounce in India is a very frequent issue. So here we are with this article to make you understand the issues related to Cheque Bounce in India and how you can deal with it.

Reasons for Cheque Bounce

Below are some of the reasons for cheque bounce in India:

  1. Insufficient funds
  2. Signature not matching 
  3. Overwriting in cheque 
  4. Cheque presented after the lapse of the period
  5. Account closed
  6. Payment stopped by the person who gave the cheque
  7. Mismatch in the account number.

Legal Remedy if a cheque has bounced

The legal remedy when a cheque has bounced is provided under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. Section 138 of the Act states that cheque bouncing is a criminal offence which is punishable with up to 2 years’ imprisonment or with fine or both combined.

Documents required for filing a complaint under section 138:

Below are the required documents:

  1. Bounced/Dishonoured Cheques
  2. Bank Return Memo
  3. Legal Notice(demand) sent to the complainant
  4. Reply Notice (if any)
  5. Postal Receipts

The above are the mandatory requirements which you need to provide to a legal expert who shall then draft a complaint about you and attach certain other documents like evidence affidavit, Vakalatnama etc.  The entire bundle get ready. Resulting in case filing.

Jurisdiction of Filing the Case

The case is filed in the court of JMFC or Judicial Magistrate First Class. The JMFC will further adjudicate the matter.

Fees for filing a complaint under Sec 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act 1881

The Court fees differ from state to state. It depends upon the cheque amount. For claim value Rs 1,00,000 onwards the fees increases at Rs 200 for every Rs 10,000 or part thereof up to Rs 11,00,000 and over Rs. 11,00,000 @ Rs 1200 for every Rs 1,00,000 or part thereof up to a maximum fee of Rs 3,00,000.

Procedure for Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act

  1. When a cheque has bounced you may either contact the other person if you are absolutely sure that they may honour the cheque or you can send a legal notice to the person who issued you that cheque demanding to make the payment. However, the period of limitation for sending such a notice is 30 days from the bouncing date.
  2. Henceforth, sending the notice. The parties receives the notice. A duration of 15 days is provided as per the provision for the reply. The final stage is initiated if the other party doesn’t respond, i.e. to file a complaint. There is again a time limit of further 30 days in which you need to file the complaint.


In summary, the cheque bounce in India is an offence under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Hence, you can always file a complaint if the cheque you receive bounces and the other party doesn’t respond on time.