criminal law

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November 05, 2020

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Technology is overruling every sector of the economy, yet most commercial transactions are completed with the usage of cheques so as to keep a record of financial transactions especially in UAE. It is pointless to say that issuing and accepting cheques are a part and parcel of our commercial front, yet we face serious troubles when dealings with cheques. By troubles we mean legal consequences and in those countries who consider cheque bounce as a criminal and civil offense. One of those jurisdictions in UAE where cheque bounce is a criminal offense and will invite fines, imprisonment, and travel ban.

We all talk about what is a cheque, what happens when it is dishonoured and how to seek legal redress in the event a cheque is bounced. However, we still feel the lack of importance given to dishonoured cheques issued by mistake or the details added in the cheques were mistakenly added wrong, or such cheques were never supposed to be released for payments. Criminal Lawyers of Dubai will try their best to discuss such eventualities in this particular articles for our readers to be very much aware prior to issuing any cheque.

Punished for Mistake?

Federal Law number 3 of 1987 regarding UAE penal Code governs all sorts of crimes in the country and needless to say that cheque bounce is governed by this law as well. Article 401 of the said law confirms the imposition of fine or imprisonment on any individual who issues a cheque which was later dishonoured or bounced by the bank due to either insufficient balance or withdrawing the balance post issuing the cheque or wrongfully signing the cheque or if he orders the bank to not release the amount. The foregoing provision seems very clear and unambiguous if read without much interpretation. However, it fails to present the scenario in which the issuer of the cheque writes the cheque with good faith yet it was dishonoured due to other reasons or by mistake of the issuer.

It is common to find the provisions concerning filing a criminal case or civil case for a cheque bounce, yet it is uncommon to find provisions governing circumstances where cheques were issued with good faith yet were bounced due to some typographical or other error. This situation gives the receiver a benefit of the doubt to register the criminal case and harass the issuer. Even though the law is unclear on such a situation, the Best Criminal Lawyers of Dubai may assist you in legally representing you before the relevant criminal court and presenting solid evidence and provisions of the law to establish the fact that the cheque was indeed issued with good faith and it was unknown to the issuer that the cheque will be bounced.

It is pertinent to understand that Lawyers of Dubai may still assist you in legal representation, it is for the court to decide the applicable law and circumstances of the matter before issuing a judgment. Therefore, it is vital to follow the said guidelines issued by the bank before issuing a cheque so as to avoid any legal consequences in the future.


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