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Negotiable Instrument Act 1881

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NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT,1881
Definition of a Negotiable Instrument. The law relating to negotiable instruments is contained in the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. It is an Act to define and amend the law relating to promissory notes, bills of exchange and cheques. The Act does not affect the custom or local usage relating to an instrument in oriental language i.e., a Hundi. The term "negotiable instrument" means a document transferable from one person to another. However the Act has not defined the term. It merely says that "A .negotiable instrument" means a promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque payab1e either to order or to bearer. [Section 13(1)] A negotiable instrument may be defined as "an instrument, the. property in which is acquired by anyone who takes it bona fide, and for value, notwithstan~ing any defect of title in the person from whom he took it, from which it follo~s that an instrument cannot be negotiable unless it is such and in such a state that the true owner could transfer the contract or engagement contained therein by simple delivery of instrument" (Willis- The Law of Negotiable Securities, Page 6). According to this definition the following are the conditions of negotiability: (i) The instrument should be freely transferable. An instrument cannot be negotiable unless it is such and in such state that the true owner could transfer by simple delivery or endorsement and delivery. (ii) The person who takes it for value and in good faith is not affected by the defect in the title of the transferor. (iii) Such a person can sue upon the instrument in his own name.

Negotiability involves two elements namely, transferability free from equities and transferability by delivery or endorsement (Mookerjee J. In Tailors Priya v. Gulab Chand, AIR 1965 Cal). But the Act recognises only three types of…...

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