Signed-blank cheque will be presumed to be issued for discharge of debt, unless proven otherwise: Ker. HC

The Kerala High Court (Ker. HC), dealing with the issue of whether the drawer of a signed-blank cheque, given as security cheque, can be prosecuted under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1888 (N.I. Act), has held that the presumption under Section 139 of the N.I Act, that the cheque was issued in discharge of debt will be applicable even to a voluntarily issued blank cheque. The Ker. HC further held that even if the cheque was given as a blank one, by affixing his signature, the drawer cannot disown the cheque, unless contradicted by evidence showing that it was handed over under any threat or coercion.