Section 148A of Negotiable Instruments Act was amended in 2018. The amendment gives power to the trial court to direct an accused to pay as fine, an interim compensation to the complainant which shall not exceed 20 percentage of the cheque amount. The amendment makes it mandatory to pay the fine within 60 days of the order. In case the accused is found not guilty, the complainant has to reimburse the amount received as fine together with an interest at bank rate as prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. The amendment further gives appellate courts, the power to direct the accused to deposit 20 percentage of fine awarded by the trial court.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified a long standing confusion regarding section 143A of the Negotiable Instruments Act, when it held that the payment of interim compensation to the complainant during pendency of cases has no retrospective effect and hence the section applies to cases filed after the amendment of the Negotiable Instruments Act in 2018 only.
In G J Raja v. Tejraj Surana, the bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineeth Saran passed an order against the Madras High Court order. The fast Track Court-II, Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai, ordered an accused to pay 20 percentage of amount of cheques due as interim compensation. The High Court modified the order by giving order to compensate the amount due to the effect of 20 percentage.