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Set of bills

Section 132 of the Negotiable Instruments Act,1881.

Bills of exchange may be drawn in parts, each part being numbered and containing a provision that it shall continue payable only so long as the others remain unpaid. All the parts together make a set; but the whole set constitutes only one bill, and is extinguished when one of the parts, if a separate bill, would be extinguished.

Exception. When a person accepts or indorses different parts of the bill in favour of different persons, he and the subsequent indorsers of each part are liable on such part as if it were a separate bill.

Bills of exchange may be drawn in sets of two, three or more parts, three being the most usual number. This practice is common in case of foreign bills and indeed by the law of some countries it is compulsory. The object is to avoid delays and inconveniences which might otherwise arise from loss, mislaying, or miscarriage of the bill and also to enable the holder to transmit the same by different conveyances to the drawee, so as to ensure the most prompt and speedy presentment for acceptance and payment. Each part should be numbered and should contain a reference to every other part of the set and a condition that it will be payable only so long as all the others are unpaid. The whole of the parts constitute in such case one bill. Each part is signed by the drawer and all the parts should be delivered to the person in whose favour the bill is drawn, unless one part is forwarded to the drawee for acceptance.

Rights and duties of holder

Section 133 of the Negotiable Instruments Act,1881.

Holder of first acquired part entitled to all. As between holders in due course of different parts of the same set, he who first acquired title to his part is entitled to the other parts and the money represented by the bill.

Holder who negotiates a bill drawn in a set is bound to deliver all the parts in his possession but a negotiation of one part by him does not warrant his possession of the other parts or make him liable to deliver them if not in his possession. Where he endorses two or more parts to different persons he is liable on every such part, and every indorsee subsequent to him is liable on the part he has himself endorsed as if the said parts were separate bills. But as between the different holders the holder whose title first accrues is deemed to be the true owner of the bill. The true owner may possibly be entitled to recover the other parts even from a holder of them in due course, but in any case the rights of a person who in due course accepts or pays the part first presented to him are preserved.

Rights and duties of drawee

The drawee may write his acceptance on any part, but he should do so on one part only, otherwise if two or more parts bearing his acceptance get into the hands of different holders in due course he is liable on every such part as if it were a separate bill. Where the bill or a part of it is presented to the acceptor for payment he should require the part which he has accepted to be handed over to him on payment of the bill, for otherwise, if the part bearing his acceptance is outstanding at maturity in the hands of a holder in due course, he is liable on it. Subject to this, however, the payment or other discharge of one part involves the discharge of the whole bill.

Form of a bill in set of three

Rs. 50000/-

New Delhi,
22nd February 2021.

Ninety days after sight pay this First of Exchange (Second and third of the same date and tenor being unpaid) to the order of X the sum of fifty thousand Rupees only, for value received.


10/6 Mail Avenue
New Delhi.

155 Karolbagh,
New Delhi.

Second and third parts will also be similar to the first part with this difference that in the second ‘first and third’ and in the third 'first and second’ remaining unpaid will be substituted in the portion within the bracket.

Created on 2021/03/06 17:51 by LawPage • Last modified on 2021/04/09 22:26 (external edit)