your Legal Advisor
this week Your legal advisor is Ishrat Hasan, Advocate, The Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She is Managing partner of the renowned law firm namely, 'The Law Consultant', Eastern Mansion, 67/9 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka, which professionally deals mainly with corporate law, cyber Law, commercial law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. She can be reached at - cell: 01521515654 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mam, I have been reading the opinions you gave in response to the reader's queries in the 'Law & Justice' with great interest. I have some queries too as I came to know from many banks that if any cheque is dishonoured, it becomes a criminal offence under the Negotiable Instrumental Act. This is also punishable with imprisonment & three times fine of the cheque amount. I found that 'medium class people', against whom an allegation is brought before the court, are taken into the custody on orders of the court, but the influential people issuing bigger amount on cheques, are not taken into custody & get bail.
I also found that the court sends such matter for inquiry to the police station and for F.I.R. The police keep the matter pending for months together without doing anything. Is this offence bailable or non-bailable? How long can the police keep the case with them without submitting the report to the court?
Thank you for your query. I have read through your query very attentively. In the general run of frustrations expressed in your query, only two sentences have touched upon law points that require comments from a lawyer. The sentences relate to the question of bail and to the length of time police may take in submitting inquiry-report. I am trying to address the same.
Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act is a penal clause providing for imprisonment but nowhere in the Act, is anything said about bail. That is, the law is silent as to whether the offence is bailable or non-bailable. Therefore, it can neither be called bailable or non-bailable. But where under any special law offences punishable with imprisonment's are created without saying anything about their position in terms of bail court can grant bail in the exercise of its power conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
As for the police, there is time frame provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure for submitting the report of investigation. But this is merely directory. No consequence follows if police fail to submit the report within the time specified by law except that the failure in submitting the report furnishes a good ground for bail of the accused, if in custody. In your case, that is, in a case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, I do not find any reason for the inquiry to be made by any police officer or any other person. Because, the nature of the case does not call for such inquiry. In such cases, the court of the magistrate is competent to take cognizance directly and enter upon trial.