Section 72 of the Negotiable Instruments Act,1881.
“Subject to the provisions of section 84” a cheque must, in order to charge the drawer, be presented at the bank upon which it is drawn before the relation between the drawer and his banker has been altered to the prejudice of the drawer.
The words within quotation have been added by section 2 of the Negotiable Instruments Amendment Act VI of 1897.
The section is, therefore, to be read with section 84. Where for non-presentment within a reasonable time the drawer suffers actual damage through the delay, he is discharged to the extent of his damage. The reason of the rule is that a person draws a cheque upon a bank because he has funds in the bank from which he means to make payment to the payee. The latter is, therefore, required to present it immediately to the bank to take payment If the payee defers this presentation for sometime and in the meantime the bank fails the drawer suffers loss because of the act of the payee in deferring the presentment i.e, by his non-withdrawal of the amount from the bank. On the understanding that the payee will realise the amount from the bank the drawer takes no step to withdraw it himself from the bank and avert the loss caused by the failure of the bank. In order, therefore, to charge the drawer with liability the cheque must be presented to the bank upon which it is drawn before the bank fails or before the relation between the drawer and the bank has been altered in any other way causing loss to the drawer. As to what is reasonable time within which the presentment has to be made depends on the facts of each case.1)