In light of the immobilization of people due to imposition of a national lockdown, Advocate Vinod Yadav has written to Chief Justice of India[, seeking extension of the 30 days notice period required to be served before initiation of a criminal case for dishonor of cheque under Section 138 of NI Act.
Yadav has pointed out that on March 23, the top court through a general order in Re: Cognizance for Extension of Limitation, Suo Moto WP (C) No. 3/2020, extended the limitation period for filing a case before any court/Tribunal in India. However, the order's silence as to its application on any prior requirement to serve any notice with in time bound manner for filing of cases before the competent court of law may be interpreted in an adverse manner.
"It is the apprehension of the undersigned that if someone intends to take the benefit of the order dated 23-03-2020 to extend the limitation period of 30 days to serve Demand Notice in cheque bounce cases then opposite party will interpret the order in such a manner that Hon'ble Apex Court has passed the order only to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunals across the country including Hon'ble Supreme Court but to serve demand notice there is no requirement to come physically in the court. This may result in multifarious litigations across the country," the application states.
In this backdrop, it has been prayed that the benefit of the above mentioned Supreme Court's order be extended to Demand Notices u/s 138 of the N.I. Act as well so that limitation period of 30 days may not come in the way at the time of filing of complaints of cheque bounce cases.