No person can be punished or fined in a cheque dishonour case if the recipient fails to prove the valid exchange of the cheque, the Appellate Division has said in a verdict of a cheque dishonour case.
It said, "A valid reason for receipt of cheque must be proven in a cheque dishonour case."
The Appellate Division also directed the lower court to be more vigilant in prosecuting such cases. From now on, the Appellate Division has asked all judicial courts to abide by the verdict.
The authorities concerned have mentioned the verdict as a milestone in alleviating the suffering of the parties involved in cheque dishonour cases.
When a check dishonour case is filed, the verdict in most cases usually goes in favour of the plaintiff, and the cheque giver is usually punished and fined. Only the testimony of the plaintiff is accepted, and no investigation is done in these kinds of cases.
The Appellate Division has said that the judicial court has to abide by all the appropriate legal directives in the trial of these cases.
The Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain published the 20-page verdict recently.
The verdict was announced on February 17 this year after disposing of an appeal. One of the key lawyers of the case, barrister Abdullah Al Mahmud Masud, confirmed the matter to The Business Standard on Wednesday.
He said, "Earlier, in most cases, the cheque giver was punished if the check was dishonoured. There was no obligation or directive to see if there was any reason for the cheque recipient to get the money of the cheque."
"From now on, the cheque recipient has to prove that there was a valid transaction agreement between the cheque giver and the cheque recipient. If any recipient cannot prove a valid reason for receiving the cheque, the check giver will no longer be punished."
Masud also said, "As a result of the verdict of the Appellate Division, the cheque givers get a chance to prove their innocence. Besides, the verdict will reduce the suffering and harassment of the parties involved in the cheque related cases."