The Delhi High Court termed the expiry of cheque on account of the sealing of the branch of bank where it was deposited amid lockdown 'unfortunate issue'.
Observing thus, a bench of Justice Jayanth Nath sought the response of the Reserve Bank of India to the issue.
The Court was considering a writ petition filed by one Abhinav Chawla, whose cheque for an amount of Rs 10 lakhs got expired as the bank could not clear the same due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The petitioner's counsel, Advocate Adhish Srivastava, submitted that since the cheque had been deposited within the statutory period, he cannot be penalised on account of inability of the bank to clear the same on time.
The petitioner highlighted that no guidelines/regulations with respect to the future of such instruments have been issued or prescribed either by the Reserve Bank of India or by the Ministry of Finance, The authorities ought to have anticipated such scenarios while declaring the lockdown, urged the petitioner.
Though the Reserve Bank of India has expressed its inability in view of the statutory provisions, the High Court has directed it to file its reply. The Petitioner has also been directed to implead the drawer and its bankers to get a holistic view of the case.
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