The Supreme Court has held that a joint account holder cannot be prosecuted in a cheque bounce case unless the cheque has been signed by each and every person of such account.
The apex court said only the person, who issues a cheque from a joint account, can be made accused in proceedings under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act for dishonour of the cheque.
“We also hold that under section 138 of the NI Act, in case of issuance of cheque from joint accounts, a joint account holder cannot be prosecuted unless the cheque has been signed by each and every person who is a joint account holder,” a bench of justices P Sathasivam and J S Kehar said.
“This court reiterates that it is only the drawer of the cheque who can be made an accused in any proceeding under Section 138 of the Act,” the bench further said.
The verdict gave relief to a woman who had challenged the summons issued to her for the dishonour of cheque issued by her husband from their joint account.
The Bombay High Court had refused to quash the summons issued by the trial court to her along with her husband.