Post Dated Cheques in PakistanPost Dated Cheques in Pakistan

 Our Law Firm Josh and Mak International offers a comprehensive suite of legal services related to legal obligations and liabilities arising from the Post-Dated Cheques in business transactions :

  1. Legal Consultation and Risk Assessment:
    • Offering expert advice on the issuance and acceptance of post-dated cheques within commercial transactions.
    • Conducting risk assessments for clients to mitigate potential legal issues related to post-dated cheques.
  2. Drafting and Review of Documents:
    • Assisting in the drafting of agreements incorporating post-dated cheques as security instruments.
    • Reviewing existing contracts and financial documents to ensure compliance with the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, and other relevant statutes.
  3. Debt Recovery Services:
    • Representing creditors in civil suits under Order XXXVII of the Civil Procedure Code for the recovery of debts via post-dated cheques.
    • Assisting in the enforcement of judgments related to post-dated cheques.
  4. Bail and Criminal Defence:
    • Providing legal representation for clients in criminal proceedings under Section 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code for dishonouring of cheques.
    • Advising and representing clients in bail matters where post-dated cheques are involved.
  5. Negotiation and Mediation:
    • Facilitating negotiations and mediations where post-dated cheques are a point of contention, as seen in tenancy and rental agreement disputes.
  6. Customs and Tax Advisory:
    • Advising on the use of post-dated cheques for provisional determination of customs duty and tax liabilities.
    • Assisting clients with customs and sales tax fraud allegations where post-dated cheques are implicated.
  7. Litigation and Appellate Representation:
    • Representing clients in litigation arising out of the dishonouring of post-dated cheques.
    • Handling appeals and higher court representations where rulings on post-dated cheques are challenged.
  8. Corporate Training and Workshops:
    • Providing training sessions for financial and legal teams of corporations on the implications of using post-dated cheques in business transactions.
  9. Regulatory Compliance and Updates:
    • Keeping clients updated on legal developments regarding post-dated cheques.
    • Advising on regulatory compliance in light of evolving jurisprudence.
  10. Legal Opinions and Briefs:
    • Preparing legal opinions and briefs on the legal standing and implications of post-dated cheques for stakeholders.
  11. Alternative Dispute Resolution:
    • Offering arbitration and conciliation services for disputes involving post-dated cheques.

Client Information Article on Post Dated Cheques 

Post-dated cheques play a crucial role in the commercial and legal landscape as a promise of payment at a future date. They have been central to many legal disputes in Pakistan, particularly in the context of business transactions, loans, and financial dealings. The issuance and dishonouring of post-dated cheques can give rise to civil as well as criminal liabilities under various provisions of the law.

In the complex landscape of financial transactions, post-dated cheques have become an instrument of trust and commitment, extending beyond mere paper to embody the credibility of the issuer and the expectations of the recipient. In Pakistan, the legal framework surrounding post-dated cheques is a complex interplay of civil and criminal law, encapsulating the intricate balance between facilitating commerce and deterring financial impropriety. This Client Information Article delves into the legal treatment of post-dated cheques by Pakistani courts, exploring how they navigate through the Civil Procedure Code, the Pakistan Penal Code, and other pertinent legislations.

Detailed Review of Pakistani Case Law on Post-Dated Cheques 

In Pakistani jurisprudence, post-dated cheques have been a focal point in various disputes, particularly concerning bail matters, tax liabilities, customs duties, and loan recoveries. The courts have considered the issuance, acceptance, and dishonouring of post-dated cheques in light of various statutory provisions and principles of natural justice. The key statutes that come into play include the Sales Tax Act, 1990, the Customs Act, 1969, the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, and provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, such as Section 489-F which pertains to dishonouring of cheques. Furthermore, the rules of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), particularly Order XXXVII which deals with the summary procedure for suits upon bills of exchange, cheques or promissory notes, are also significant. These cases highlight the intersection of civil and criminal law, particularly within the contexts of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Penal Code, and the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, among others.The courts in Pakistan have viewed post-dated cheques not only as a means of payment but also as an instrument of credit and security in various transactions.

In  2023 CLD 92 Islamabad, the Court upheld that post-dated cheques are self-executing documents and that suits based on them are maintainable under Order XXXVII, Rule 2 of the Civil Procedure Code (C.P.C.), which provides for the summary procedure applicable to certain cases. This view is consistent with the idea that such cheques, by their nature, represent an acknowledgment of a debt that is due on a future date. The Court also clarified that the existence of an Iqrarnama (an agreement) executed as an additional security does not negate the maintainability of a suit on a post-dated cheque. Moreover, the stringent provisions of Order XXXVII restrict the defendants’ right to defend, requiring them to obtain permission from the Court to appear and contest the suit, further indicating the seriousness with which post-dated cheques are treated.

In  2023 CLC 207 Islamabad case, the Court dealt with issues of tenancy and the eviction process, wherein post-dated cheques were part of the rental agreement. The dishonouring of these cheques due to insufficient funds was one of the grounds for the eviction of the tenant. The case also mentions the involvement of the Mediation Council and the imposition of an automatic increase in rent under the relevant Ordinance, highlighting the procedural aspects and the obligations of a tenant in relation to post-dated cheques.

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The 2021 PTD 804 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh judgment tackled the issue of provisional determination of customs duty and the use of post-dated cheques as a means of securing the payment of the differential amount of duties and taxes. The High Court found that the assessment remained provisional under Section 81 of the Customs Act, 1969, and that the cheques obtained were not for deferred payment of final duties/taxes, thus were refundable to the importer when the assessment was considered provisional.

In 2019 MLD 636 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh, the Court’s decision centred around the criminal implications of issuing dishonoured cheques under Section 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, which deals with dishonestly issuing a cheque. The case highlighted the misuse of the legal process where multiple FIRs were lodged for separate cheques instead of including all dishonoured cheques in a single FIR, indicating the potential for post-dated cheques to be used as a means of coercion or to exert pressure.

The 2018 PCrLJ 883 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case illustrated the bail considerations for an accused in the context of a dishonoured cheque, where the accused were willing to furnish security equivalent to the amount of the cheques, pointing towards the use of post-dated cheques as a form of security in commercial transactions.

The 2016 PTD 1334 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh judgment involved the imposition of anti-dumping duties and the validity of such duties when the plaintiff had already entered into a binding contract by establishing a Letter of Credit before the duty was levied. The court allowed the release of the consignment pending adjudication subject to the furnishing of post-dated cheques for the disputed amount, showing the courts’ willingness to use post-dated cheques as a means to secure government levies while disputes are being resolved.

From the 2015 SCMR 1488 and 2015 PTD 2026 Supreme-Court cases, it is evident that the final determination of liability for customs duty must be made within a statutory timeframe, and the failure of the Customs department to finalise this within one year, due to their own defaults, does not automatically make the provisional determination final. Post-dated cheques were used here to secure potential liabilities pending final assessment.

The 2015 PTD 2321 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case reflects on the issue of sales tax fraud and the bail process, where post-dated cheques were deposited in court by the accused to obtain bail, showing the courts’ acceptance of such cheques as a form of temporary compliance with tax liabilities.

In the 2015 YLR 2674 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case, the High Court dealt with the issuance of post-dated cheques in the context of a lease and granted an injunction, recognising the potential criminal implications if the cheques were dishonoured.

In the case of 2015 PCrLJ 1795 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”, the court discussed the provision of post-dated cheques for the grant of bail in the context of alleged sales tax fraud under the Sales Tax Act, 1990. The petitioners’ contention that the cheques were obtained forcibly was dismissed by the court as they were submitted voluntarily. This case also touches upon the constitutional aspect of such matters, invoking Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which allows for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

In “2014 SCMR 15 Supreme-Court” and “2014 PTD 174 Supreme-Court”, the Supreme Court of Pakistan considered the issuance of post-dated cheques concerning the customs duty valuation and territorial jurisdiction of the Islamabad High Court under the Customs Act, 1969.

“2014 CLC 473 Peshawar-High-Court” and “2014 CLC 1367 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh” addressed the recovery of money based on cheques under Order XXXVII of the Civil Procedure Code. The courts underscore the presumption attached to negotiable instruments and the burden of proof on the defendant to prove the contrary once the issuance of the cheques is admitted.

The case of “2013 PTD 636 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore” focused on the retrospective application of a customs valuation ruling affecting the release of goods for which post-dated cheques were submitted.

In”2013 YLR 848 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh” highlighted the defendant’s obligation to comply with the court’s conditions for defence when a suit for recovery based on dishonoured cheques is decreed.

In the 2013 YLR 695 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh, the matter revolved around the dishonour of post-dated cheques under criminal implications of Section 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code. The court focused on the requirement for the prosecution to prove dishonest intent beyond a reasonable doubt, which was not met, leading to an acquittal. This case underlines the need for clear evidence of mens rea, or criminal intent, in cases of cheque dishonour.

The case of 2012 PLD 464 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh further expounded on the aspect of dishonest intention in the issuance of cheques. The court clarified that post-dated cheques issued without a transaction creating an instant liability at the time of issuance would not attract criminal liability under Section 489-F, except in cases where such cheques are presented with a prior understanding of arranging funds, hence establishing mens rea.

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In 2012 PTD 1618, the Customs, Federal Excise and Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal dealt with the provisional assessment of customs value and the use of post-dated cheques to secure duty/tax payments. This case emphasises the administrative and procedural aspect of using post-dated cheques as financial instruments in customs and tax matters.

The cases of 2011 YLR 1655 and 2010 CLD 344 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh present situations where post-dated cheques were part of commercial transactions and the disputes arising were more civil than criminal. These cases show the courts’ inclination to view disputes over dishonoured cheques as civil matters unless there is evidence of fraud or dishonesty.

The 2010 PCrLJ 412 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case represents the legal principle that the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, 2001, is a special law that supersedes the general law when dealing with transactions between financial institutions and their customers. It underscores that criminal proceedings under the Penal Code for dishonoured cheques are not warranted when a special law applies.

The 2008 MLD 114 and 2007 CLD 1616 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore cases focus on the procedural aspects under Order XXXVII of the Civil Procedure Code, which deals with suits based on negotiable instruments, including post-dated cheques, and the Limitation Act. These cases reaffirm that the civil procedure code and limitation laws are integral in determining the course of legal action in cheque dishonour cases.

In the cases of 2007 PTD 2478 and 2007 PTD 2432 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh involve the constitutional petitions related to customs valuation and the role of post-dated cheques as security for the payment of assessed duties.

Key Points on Post-Dated Cheques 

  • Civil Aspect and Jurisdiction:
    • Civil Procedure Code: The civil courts often engage with post-dated cheques under Order XXXVII of the Civil Procedure Code, which allows for a summary procedure in cases concerning negotiable instruments. This is evident in cases like “2004 CLC 46 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh” and “1992 CLC 1016 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”, where the courts have enforced the monetary claims based on dishonoured cheques using summary judgment procedures.
    • Territorial Jurisdiction: Issues of jurisdiction have been highlighted in cases like “2004 CLC 46 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”, where the location where the contract was concluded or where the cheque was made payable can confer jurisdiction on a particular court.
    • Service of Summons: The proper service of summons, as outlined in Order V of the Civil Procedure Code, is also an essential aspect of litigation involving post-dated cheques, as demonstrated in “2004 CLC 46 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”.
  • Criminal Aspect:
    • Pakistan Penal Code: The criminal implications of dishonoured cheques are addressed under Sections 489-F (specifically dealing with dishonoured cheques for insufficiency of funds), 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 408 (criminal breach of trust by banker or agent), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code (XLV of 1860), as seen in cases like “2006 YLR 50 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore” and “2006 YLR 3142 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”.
    • Bail Considerations: The Lahore High Court in “2006 YLR 50 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore” and “2002 YLR 230 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore” dealt with the question of bail in the context of cases involving post-dated cheques, weighing the criminal intent and the existence of a civil dispute underlying the criminal complaint.
  • Interplay with Other Laws:
    • Federal Investigation Agency Act: In “2006 YLR 3142 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”, the Karachi High Court examined the jurisdiction of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in matters that essentially arose out of a private dispute involving post-dated cheques, indicating that not all cheque-related matters may fall within the ambit of the FIA’s jurisdiction, particularly when they pertain to private commercial transactions.
  • Nature of Disputes:
    • Business Transactions and Commercial Disputes: Many disputes concerning post-dated cheques arise from business dealings where cheques are used as security for the performance of an agreement, as seen in “2006 YLR 50 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore” and “2000 PCRLJ 409 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”.
    • Loan and Financial Dealings: Cases often involve cheques given in the context of loans or financial transactions that are subsequently dishonoured, leading to allegations of fraud and cheating as seen in “2006 YLR 3142 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”.

Synopsis of the legal position of Post-Dated Cheques in Pakistan

Post-dated cheques hold a distinct and crucial position within Pakistani jurisprudence, often at the heart of legal disputes ranging from bail matters to tax liabilities and beyond. As a legal practitioner advising clients on the intricacies of such financial instruments, it is essential to navigate the complexities of various statutory provisions, judicial interpretations, and principles of natural justice that govern their use.

One of the primary legislative frameworks impacting post-dated cheques is the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, which, together with provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, particularly Section 489-F concerning the dishonouring of cheques, establishes the legal groundwork for understanding the implications of issuing and failing to honour such cheques.

The judiciary in Pakistan has consistently underscored the dual nature of post-dated cheques—as a payment mechanism and a credit instrument. This was evident in the 2023 CLD 92 Islamabad case, where the court treated post-dated cheques as self-executing documents that acknowledge a future debt. Such a stance is reinforced by Order XXXVII of the Civil Procedure Code, which prescribes a summary procedure for suits on cheques, indicating their seriousness and the limited defence available to the issuer once a cheque is dishonoured.

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Moreover, the 2023 CLC 207 Islamabad decision delved into tenancy agreements and post-dated cheques, highlighting their role in contractual obligations and the potential consequences of dishonouring them, such as eviction. The case underlines the procedural nuances and obligations of tenants regarding post-dated cheques.

The courts have also deliberated on the role of post-dated cheques in the context of customs duty, as seen in the 2021 PTD 804 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh judgement. The judgement determined that post-dated cheques used to secure the payment of provisional duties were refundable, considering the assessment remained provisional under Section 81 of the Customs Act, 1969.

Criminal implications of issuing dishonoured cheques are significantly pronounced in Pakistani law, with the 2019 MLD 636 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case highlighting the potential for legal process misuse and indicating how post-dated cheques can be leveraged as a coercive tool.

Bail considerations in cases of dishonoured cheques were illustrated in the 2018 PCrLJ 883 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case, wherein the court acknowledged the provision of security via post-dated cheques as a legitimate practice in commercial transactions.

The 2016 PTD 1334 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh judgement further exemplified the judiciary’s readiness to accept post-dated cheques as a security measure, allowing the release of consignments subject to dispute resolution processes.

Cases like the 2015 SCMR 1488 and 2015 PTD 2026 Supreme-Court have made it clear that the finalisation of customs duty liability within a statutory timeframe is mandatory, and any delay does not default the provisional determination to final. Here again, post-dated cheques were employed to secure potential liabilities.

In instances of sales tax fraud, as in the 2015 PTD 2321 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case, the court’s acceptance of post-dated cheques to facilitate bail processes signifies their utility in ensuring compliance with tax liabilities, albeit temporarily.

The 2015 YLR 2674 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh case’s injunction in the context of a lease agreement showcases the criminal consequences of dishonoured cheques and the judicial measures taken to prevent such outcomes.

Finally, in the realm of constitutional law, as discussed in “2015 PCrLJ 1795 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh”, the court’s dismissal of the contention that cheques were obtained forcibly, viewing them as voluntarily submitted, touches upon the protection of fundamental rights under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Conclusions:

The courts’ approach to post-dated cheques is multifaceted, taking into account the nature of the underlying transaction, the intent of the parties, and the subsequent conduct of the issuer of the cheque. They have shown a tendency to differentiate between disputes that are purely civil in nature, where a cheque may serve as a document to prove debt and to enforce contractual obligations, and those that carry a criminal element, such as an intention to defraud.

The courts in Pakistan have been observed to adopt a nuanced approach to cases involving post-dated cheques. The determination of whether an issue is civil or criminal hinges on the presence of dishonest intent and the fulfilment of transactional obligations. The interplay of civil procedure, financial regulations, and customs law shows the diverse contexts in which post-dated cheque disputes emerge, ranging from property transactions to financial recoveries and customs assessments. The overarching theme is the need for a careful and detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding the issuance and dishonour of post-dated cheques to ascertain the appropriate legal recourse.

 The courts view post-dated cheques as negotiable instruments that carry significant legal implications, and they carefully examine the facts and intentions behind their issuance and dishonouring. The interplay between the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, the Pakistan Penal Code, and other relevant statutes is critical in determining the outcome of disputes involving post-dated cheques. The types of matters that usually see instances and disputes on post-dated cheques normally emerge in the realm of business transactions, financial dealings, and occasionally, in the misuse of cheques for fraudulent purposes.

(3)These cases suggest that matters involving post-dated cheques typically emerge in contexts where such cheques serve as security for obligations or liabilities, whether in commercial transactions, tax matters, customs duties, or loan recoveries. The courts have consistently held that the onus is on the party challenging the cheque’s validity to demonstrate that it was issued under duress, coercion, or without consideration. Additionally, when the cheques are dishonoured, the courts have often taken a strict stance, emphasising the importance of honouring such negotiable instruments unless a strong defence is presented.

(4)The jurisprudence on post-dated cheques in Pakistan is a testament to the legal system’s adaptability and its nuanced understanding of commercial practices. Courts have consistently demonstrated a pragmatic approach, distinguishing between genuine business transactions and fraudulent activities. The examination of key cases underscores the importance of the legal maxim that justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done, especially in matters of financial trust. This blog has aimed to provide a clear overview of the legal landscape as it pertains to post-dated cheques, offering valuable insights for legal practitioners, business professionals, and laypersons. It is a reminder that while a post-dated cheque is a common financial tool, its legal implications are anything but ordinary, requiring careful consideration and due diligence by all parties involved.

By The Josh and Mak Team

Josh and Mak International is a distinguished law firm with a rich legacy that sets us apart in the legal profession. With years of experience and expertise, we have earned a reputation as a trusted and reputable name in the field. Our firm is built on the pillars of professionalism, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to providing excellent legal services. We have a profound understanding of the law and its complexities, enabling us to deliver tailored legal solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. As a virtual law firm, we offer affordable, high-quality legal advice delivered with the same dedication and work ethic as traditional firms. Choose Josh and Mak International as your legal partner and gain an unfair strategic advantage over your competitors.

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