criminal law


April 08, 2020



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Have you been in a situation where you issued a cheque, however, later paid the cheque amount in cash to the beneficiary but, the beneficiary failed to return the cheque or refuses to return the cheque. Shockingly, he deposits the cheque in the bank, receive a dishonored statement and files a case against you. Criminal Lawyers of Dubai consider it as a fake case registered against you.

Dishonored cheques are considered as a crime in UAE under Federal Law number 3 of 1987 on UAE Penal Code. Nevertheless, the accused can very well submit a defense stating that the amount of cheque has already been paid in cash, only if he has the proof of payment. Moreover, if he can prove that the beneficiary of the cheque failed to return the cheque or denied returning the cheque.

The similar approach was taken by Criminal Court of Cassation under case number 334 of the year 2002, wherein the court confirms that the beneficiary indeed filed a fake criminal case when he already received the amount of cheque in cash. The court of First Instance issued an imprisonment of two (2) months along with a fine of AED 5,000 (UAE Dirhams five thousand) and the case was rejected in the Appeal court and in Court of Cassation.

Pertinently, it is not important to focus on who filed the case but the critically examine what sort of fake statements were submitted before the public prosecutor or the court. The significant concern in such scenario and which works as a defense that the cheque was issued as a guarantee cheque and the issuer of the cheque has settled the amount by paying cash. Ergo, it is does not authorizes the beneficiary to submit a cheque case, wherein he has already received the amount of the cheque.

It further pivotal to prove before the court that the beneficiary of the cheque was aware of the fact that he has received the money and yet intentionally denied returning the cheque. In such circumstances, the court will not consider it as a cheque bounce case and will

Lastly, if you have been cheated like this or someone has raised a fake cheque case against you, it is high time for you to appoint legal representative who can submit good defense or can advise you the legal procedure ahead and can safeguard you from any possible criminal liability.

New Update:

The United Arab Emirates has enacted the federal degree number 14 of 2020 (issued on 27 September 2020) which has amended and added new articles to the UAE commercial transaction law no. 18 of 1993. The new changes are in force from January 2022 onwards and one of the most significant changes introduced concerns the limited scope of criminalization in instances of returned cheques on account of insufficient funds.

Narrowed Criminality: The new amendments bring in narrowed criminality in matters concerning cheques. Pursuant to the new changes, only the following actions will invite criminal action, such as:

  • Intentionally falsifying of cheques
  • Instances of fraud: This covers circumstances wherein the issuer instructs the respective bank, not the pay the cheque amount, pursuant to clause… the signature on the cheque would be considered as acknowledgement of the debt
  • Providing counterfeit cheques
  • Withdrawing the account balance before the date of the cheque encashment in order to prevent the cheque from being cleared.

Reference : Federal degree number 14 of 2020 amending the UAE commercial transaction law no. 18 of 1993.

Issue Date: 27 Sep 2020

Follow this link to read our latest article on this topic: "What are the new changes in bounce cheque in the UAE effective 2022?" please follow this link,

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