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According to Brooke, this is a slight alteration of the English Law, for he says that the holder is entitled to have a decisive answer within twenty-four hours, and quotes two cases.By Sec. 56 of the draft bill, it was provided, that “ the drawee may retain it for a period not exceeding twenty-four hours, to consider whether he will accept it or not.” The provisions of the section as it now stands, are probably based on the ruling of the Privy Council in Bank of Van Diemen's Land v. Victoria Banks where it was held, that a bill which had been left for acceptance at 2 P. M. on Friday, and called for at 11-30 on Saturday, and not returned then as it was said to be mislaid, there had been no negligence in the defendant bank, which was the agent of the plaintiff bank, leaving it till Monday, it being proved that business hours closed on Saturdays at 12 noon, and that it was not an extension of time, so as to discharge the drawer.
It will be observed that under the section the bill must be left with the drawee if required, for consideration as to whether or not he will accept it, and though it is the practice in England so to do, Brooke says it is a mere act of courtesy. *
As to the drawee's liability, in case of his inability to return the bill after it has been left for consideration ;5 and as to the effect of the holder leaving bill with drawee, for more than twenty-four hours, (see Sec. 83.)
Presentment for payment.
64. Promissory notes, bills of exchange and cheques must be presented for payment to the maker, acceptor or drawee thereof respectively, by or on behalf of the bolder as hereinafter provided. In default of such presentment the other parties thereto are not liable thereon to such holder.
Exception.—Where a promissory note is payable on demand and is not payable at a specified place,
1 Brooke's Office of Notary, 4th ed., p. 69.
2 Ingram v. Forster, 2 Smith, 243; Bellasis v. Hester, I Ld. Raym. 281.
; L. R. 3 P. C. 526 ; S. C. 40 L. J. (P. C.) 28.
4 Brooke's Office of Notary, 4th ed., p. 69.
3 See Morrison v. Buchanan, 6 C. & P. 18; Warwick v. Rogers, 5 M. & Gr. 340.
no presentment is necessary in order to charge the maker thereof.
“Presented for payment,” must mean, such "a presentment as would be sufficient to charge indorsers or other persons collaterally liable on the bill, and the document itself must be “presented, so as to enable the person presenting to give it up “ if paid.”
The above dictum defines very accurately what is a sufficient presentment within the Act, subject however to the qualifications contained in Secs. 70, 71 and 72 which provide the places at which the presentment must or may be made, and Secs. 65, 66, 22 and 23 as to time.
By or behalf of the holder.-See notes on Sec. 61, as to difference between who may present for acceptance.
To whom to be made.-See Sec. 75, which allows of presentment to agent representative or assignee.
As to time.-See Secs. 65 and 66, and Secs. 22 and 23. In England it has been held that presentment before the expiration of the days of grace is before maturity, and does not enable the holder to charge the prior parties. As to presentment of lost bills or notes, Brooke says, 3 ' If a bill or note should be lost, payment must nevertheless be demanded when it becomes due, and a copy, or such particulars of it as can be had, should be presented in place of the original, (or the second or third of exchange, when the bill is drawn in sets, might reasonably be used.')
Exception. This is founded on the case of Norton v. Ellam, in which it was held, that the commencement of an action on the note was a sufficient demand, but Limitation will commence to run from the date of the note. 5 65. Presentment for payment must be made Hours for pre
sentment. during the usual hours of business, and, if at a banker's, within banking hours.
S. C. 9
Griffin v. Weatherby, L. R. 3 Q. B. per Lush J., at p. 761.
Wiffen v. Roberts, 1 Esp. 261.
3 Brooke's Office of Notary, 4th ed., p. 137 ; Deher v. Har. riott, i Show, 163; Hansard v.
Robinson, 7 B. & C. 90;
2 M. & W. 461.
Usual hours of business.—These words read with Sec. 70, would seem to indicate, that their meaning is, during the business hours of the place where the instrument is payable, for Sec. 70 provides that the presentment must be at the place of business of the maker, drawee or acceptor. The usual business hours in India I believe to be from 10 A. M. to 6 P. M., except on Saturdays, when most places of business close at 2 or 3 o'clock. Reading them again with Secs. 70 and 71, it would seem, that business hours are to be the period within which presentment must be made even though, the presentment be made at the residence of the parties or at the place where they may be found. Presentment to an indorser, would require to be made within the period mentioned here.
This section has cut down the time which by English law has been considered reasonable. Thus in Wilkins v. Jadis' Lord Tenterden said: “ As to Bankers it is established that a presentment out of the hours of business is not sufficient, but in other cases the rule of law is, that the bill must be presented at a reasonable hour; a presentment at 12 o'clock at night, when a person has retired to rest, would be unreasonable, but I cannot say that a presentment between 7 and 8 in the evening is not a presentment at a reasonable time." If at a Banker's.-Within banking hours.?
This is the same as the English law. The usual banking hours for payment of money in India are from 10 A. M. to 3 P. M., except on Saturdays, when they are from 10 A. M. to 1 P. M. What are banking hours must be proved in each particular case. •
66. A promissory note or bill of exchange, made payable at a specified period after date or sight thereof, must be presented for payment at maturity.
Maturity is defined by Sec. 22. See Wiffen v. Roberts, 4 ante, note to Sec. 64. Under English Law presentment at maturity to the maker or acceptor is not necessary to render them liable.5
Presentment for payment of instrument payable after date or sight.
1 2 B. & Ad. 188; S. C. I Moo. & R. 41 ; see also Triggs v. Newnham, 10 Moore, 259 ; S. C. 1 C. & P. 631.
9 Whitaker v. Bank of England, i C. M. & R. 744.
v. Henty, 10 C. B. (N. S.) 65; S. C. 30 L. J. (C. P.) 302; Leftley V. Mills, 4 T. R. 171.
* i Esp. 261.
5 Smith v. Vertue, 5 C. B. (N. S.) 214; S. C. 30 L. J. (C. P.) 56.
No distinction has, however, been made in the section between them and the drawer and indorsers. No provision is made in the act, allowing excuses for non-presentment for payment of bills and notes at maturity, such as are allowed by English Law; e.g., detention of the mail carrying the bill or note; or that the holder has been robbed of it; or that the country is in the occupation of an enemy.' 67. A promissory note payable by instalments Presentment
of must be presented for payment on the third day promissory after the date fixed for payment of each instalment;
by instalments. and non-payment on such presentment has the same effect as non-payment of a note at maturity.
This expressly extends days of grace to the notes mentioned, and follows the English Law. Whether the indorsers, in case of default of présentment, are discharged from the whole amount then due seems doubtful, but the concluding clause will, probably, be so construed as to give that effect to the default. The provisions of this section are novel, and may be found difficult to put in to practice; for instance, where the party chargeable is not resident in the same place as the payee. Then again, will non-presentment for one instalment relieve from liability as to the remaining ones, or only from that for which default in nonpresentment was made ? And will fresh notices of dishonor be necessary for each instalment in which default is made ?
68. A promissory note, bill of exchange or cheque Presentment made, drawn or accepted payable at a specified place instrument
of and not elsewhere must, in order to charge any party payable at
specified place thereto, be presented for payment at that place. and not else
This section is founded on 1 and 2 Geo. IV., c. 78, with the difference that it includes promissory notes and cheques, whereas the English Statute only relates to acceptances of bills of exchange. The section also includes instruments drawn payable at a particular place and not elsewhere. The English cases, decided on the Statute, have established that in order to render non-presentment at the particular place a discharge from liability,
the place indicated should be mentioned in the body of the bill, the words of the Statute being “if the acceptor shall in his acceptance express that he accepts the bill payable at a Banker's house only, or other place only and not otherwise or elsewhere,” and not in the nature of a mere note or memorandum at foot or in the margin. But though this is the general rule, it was held by Lord Ellenborough, in a case in which the whole of the note was printed with the exception of the names, sum and date, that the place of payment, which was also printed, was to be considered as part of the note, having been made at the same time. A further difference between the section and the English Statute is, that in order that any party, including the drawer, may be charged under the section the presentment must be made at the place indicated. The English Statute only expressly relieves the acceptor from liability. Tindal, C.J., said : “It appears to us that the Statute neither intended to alter, nor has it altered, the liability of drawers of bills of exchange, but that it is confined in its operation to the case of acceptors alone;" and again, “the enactment comprehends in terms the case of acceptors and acceptors only, and is silent altogether upon the subject of the liability of drawers and indorsers." And where the bill was accepted payable at Sir J. P. and Co.'s Bankers, London,” Mr Justice Bayley said : “ The effect of such an acceptance is this, that, to entitle the holder to sue the drawer or indorser, it casts an obligation upon him to present the bill at Sir J. P. and Co.'s for payment.”
A cheque is also included in the section, its definition making it obvious that it must be presented at the Banker's on whom
it is drawn." Instrument 69. A promissory note or bill of exchange made,
at specified place. drawn or accepted payable at a specified place must,
in order to charge the maker or drawer thereof, be presented for payment at that place.
i Sanderson v. Bowes, 14 East, 500; Emblin v. Dartnell, 12 M. & W. 830.
? Trecothick v. Edwin, 1 Stark, 468; but see Williams v. Waring, 10 B. & C. 2; Masters v. Baretto, 8 C. B. 433 ; S. C. 19 L. J. (C. P.) 50.
3 Gibb v. Mather, 8 Bing. 214; S. C. 2 Moo. & S. 387.
* Rowe v. Young, 2 Bro & B., 165; S. C. 2 Bligh. 391.
5 Woodland v. Fear, 7 E. & B. 519; S. C. 26 L. J., 9. B. 202; see post, Sec. 72.