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Section 5 of Negotiable Instruments Act 1881: Bill of Exchange

Section 5 (Bill of exchange) under Chapter II (Of Notes, Bills and Cheques) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 —

❝A “bill of exchange” is an instrument in writing containing an unconditional order, signed by the maker, directing a certain person to pay a certain sum of money only to, or to the order of, a certain person or to the bearer of the instrument.

A promise or order to pay is not “conditional”, within the meaning of this section and section 4, by reason of the time for payment of the amount or any instalment thereof being expressed to be on the lapse of a certain period after the occurrence of a specified even which, according to the ordinary expectation of mankind, is certain to happen, although the time of its happening may be uncertain.

The sum payable may be “certain”, within the meaning of this section and section 4, although it includes future interest or is payable at an indicated rate of exchange, or is according to the course of exchange, and although the instrument provides that, on default of payment of an instalment, the balance unpaid shall become due.

The person to whom it is clear that the direction is given or that payment is to be made may be a “certain person”, within the meaning of this section and section 4, although he is mis-named or designated by description only.❞



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Notes:

(1) List of Amending Acts and Adaptation Orders

The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (Act No. 26 of 1881) was amended by:

01. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1885 (Act No. 02 of 1885);
02. Amending Act, 1891 (Act No. 12 of 1891);
03. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1897 (Act No. 06 of 1897);
04. Decentralization Act, 1914 (Act No. 04 of 1914);
05. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1914 (Act No. 05 of 1914);
06. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1919 (Act No. 08 of 1919);
07. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1920 (Act No. 25 of 1920);
08. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1921 (Act No. 12 of 1921);
09. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1922 (Act No. 18 of 1922);
10. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1926 (Act No. 30 of 1926);
11. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1930 (Act No. 25 of 1930);
12. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1934 (Act No. 17 of 1934);
13. Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937;
14. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1947 (Act No. 33 of 1947);
15. Indian Independence (Adaptation of Central Acts and Ordinances) Order, 1948;
16. Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950;
17. Part B States (Laws) Act, 1951 (Act No. 03 of 1951);
18. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1952 (Act No. 53 of 1952);
19. Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 1955 (Act No. 37 of 1955);
20. Jammu and Kashmir (Extension of Laws) Act, 1956 (Act No. 62 of 1956);
21. Repealing and Amending Act, 1957 (Act No. 36 of 1957);
22. Banking, Public Financial Institutions and Negotiable Instruments Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988 (Act No. 66 of 1988);
23. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002 (Act No. 55 of 2002);
24. The Negotiable instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act No. 26 of 2015);
25. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act No. 20 of 2018).

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