Q. I had given a blank signed cheque to my friend/partner who is now misusing the cheque against me. Is this a good defence ?
Ans. The answer is yes and no both. The general position is that a person who has given a blank cheque can be attributed to having given the authority to the person to whom the cheque is given (in legal parlance called ‘payee’) to fill the amount on the cheque. Having said that, the accused can always argue and prove that the authority was only upto a certain amount and not beyond. This can be proved by leading own evidence or cross examination of the complainant or otherwise throwing doubt on the liability. The accused can demonstrate to the court that the amount filled-in on the cheque cannot be the amount owed by the accused by any stretch of imagination. This can be done by demonstrating the financial incapacity of the complainant etc.