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Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 1: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

THE USAGE OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS IN THE BANKING SECTOR: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW – R. Riyas Ahamed

 ABSTRACT

 Negotiable instruments have long served as essential tools in facilitating financial transactions within the banking sector. This abstract provides a comprehensive overview of the usage of negotiable instruments in the banking industry, highlighting their significance, types, and critical features. It explores the role of negotiable instruments in enhancing liquidity, security, and efficiency in financial transactions while addressing the legal framework governing their usage.

The abstract begins by introducing negotiable instruments as written documents that guarantee the payment of a specific amount of money to the bearer or assigned party. It emphasizes their portability, durability, and transferability, which make them valuable instruments for banks in conducting various financial activities.

Next, the abstract explores the main types of negotiable instruments commonly employed in the banking sector, including promissory notes, bills of exchange, and checks. It discusses their characteristics, usage scenarios, and the rights and obligations of parties involved in these instruments. Additionally, it examines the electronic equivalents of negotiable instruments, such as electronic funds transfers and digital checks, which have gained prominence in the digital age.

The abstract further delves into the advantages of negotiable instruments for banks. It highlights their role in improving liquidity by allowing banks to convert assets into readily usable funds. It also emphasizes the security of negotiable instruments, which often involve authentication mechanisms, signatures, and legal enforceability. Moreover, negotiable instruments contribute to the efficiency of banking operations by streamlining payment processes, reducing reliance on cash transactions, and enabling remote transactions.

Furthermore, the abstract addresses the legal framework governing negotiable instruments, focusing on key legislation such as the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in the United States and similar laws in other jurisdictions. It highlights the importance of compliance with legal requirements, including proper endorsement, delivery, and adherence to payment terms, to ensure the enforceability and validity of negotiable instruments.

In conclusion, negotiable instruments play a crucial role in banking by facilitating secure, efficient, and legally enforceable financial transactions. Understanding the various types, features, and legal aspects of negotiable instruments is vital for banks, as they leverage these instruments to enhance liquidity, streamline operations, and meet the evolving demands of the digital era.

Keywords: Negotiable Instruments, Banking Sector, Financial Transactions, Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange, Checks, Electronic Funds Transfers, Legal Framework, Liquidity, Security, Efficiency.

INTRODUCTION

Negotiable instruments are legal documents representing a promise to pay a specific amount of money to the bearer or a designated person or entity. These instruments are commonly used in commercial transactions to facilitate the exchange of value. They provide a convenient and secure way to transfer money without needing physical currency.

The critical characteristic of negotiable instruments is their transferability. They can be freely transferred from one person to another through negotiation, typically by endorsement or delivery. The new instrument holder then gains the rights and obligations associated with it.

Negotiable instruments offer several advantages in commercial transactions. They provide a convenient way to transfer funds, facilitate credit transactions, and serve as evidence of a debt. They also offer legal protection and enforceability, as specific laws and regulations govern them in most jurisdictions.

It’s important to note that laws regarding negotiable instruments may vary between countries or jurisdictions. It is advisable to consult local laws and regulations or seek legal advice specific to your situation when dealing with negotiable instruments.

Therefore, Negotiable instruments play a crucial role in the banking sector by facilitating various financial transactions. A negotiable instrument is a document that guarantees the payment of a specific amount of money to the bearer or a specified person. It is transferable from one party to another by mere delivery or endorsement, making it a convenient and secure business method.

ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS

Negotiable instruments came into existence as a means of facilitating commerce and trade. The development of negotiable instruments can be traced back to ancient times when people needed a more convenient and secure way to exchange goods and services.

The earliest negotiable instruments were in ancient Mesopotamia, where clay tablets were used as receipts or promissory notes for agricultural goods. These clay tablets would indicate a debt or an obligation to deliver certain goods.

Over time, different civilizations and cultures developed their systems of negotiable instruments. For example, in ancient Rome, a method of negotiable instruments called “billae” emerged. Billae were written contracts that could be transferred to another person, enabling the transfer of debt or obligation.

In medieval Europe, the use of bills of exchange became prevalent. Merchants and traders would issue statements of sale for payment or credit. These bills allow for transferring funds between different cities and countries, eliminating the need for physical transportation of large amounts of money.

The modern concept of negotiable instruments began to take shape during the 17th and 18th centuries with the development of commercial law and practices. Promissory notes and bills of exchange became standardized and widely used in commercial transactions.

In the 19th century, various countries enacted laws and regulations to govern negotiable instruments, providing legal certainty and establishing rules for transfer and enforcement. The most notable example is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in the United States, which was first published in 1952 and has since been adopted by most states. The UCC provides a comprehensive framework for using and regulating negotiable instruments, including checks, promissory notes, and drafts.

The widespread adoption and acceptance of negotiable instruments can be attributed to their convenience, portability, and reliability in commercial transactions. They provide a standardized and legally recognized form of payment and credit, allowing parties to confidently engage in business transactions.

Today, negotiable instruments play a crucial role in the global economy, although their usage has somewhat diminished with the advent of electronic payment systems and digital currencies. Nevertheless, negotiable instruments remain essential in various industries and are governed by specific laws and regulations in each jurisdiction.

ROLE OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS USAGE IN BANKING SECTOR

Negotiable instruments play a significant role in the banking sector, although their usage has evolved with technological advancements and changing business practices. While digital transactions have gained popularity, negotiable instruments still offer particular advantages and are commonly used for various purposes.

FACILITATING TRADE: Negotiable instruments, such as checks and promissory notes, provide a convenient and widely accepted means of payment in commercial transactions. They enable businesses and individuals to transfer funds, settle debts, and conduct trade efficiently.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK: Negotiable instruments operate within a well-established legal framework governed by laws and regulations that provide clarity and enforceability. This legal structure offers parties involved in transactions security and confidence.

PAYMENT FLEXIBILITY: Negotiable instruments offer flexibility in terms of payment. They can be post-dated, allowing for deferred payments, or made payable to the bearer, enabling easy transferability. This flexibility accommodates various payment arrangements and business needs.

RISK MITIGATION: Negotiable instruments often incorporate built-in security features, such as signature verification and endorsement requirements. These features help mitigate the risk of fraud and unauthorized transactions, protecting issuers and recipients.

DOCUMENTATION AND RECORD-KEEPING: Negotiable instruments create a paper trail, facilitating proper documentation and record-keeping. This aspect is particularly relevant for regulatory compliance, auditing purposes, and maintaining a transparent financial system.

ACCESS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES: Negotiable instruments can improve financial inclusion by providing individuals and businesses with access to banking services. They allow individuals without bank accounts to receive payments and facilitate transactions, bridging the gap between the formal banking sector and the unbanked population.

TRANSITIONAL PERIOD: While digital payment methods are rapidly gaining ground, negotiable instruments serve as a transitional tool for those transitioning from traditional to digital banking. They provide a familiar and widely accepted payment mechanism during this transitional period.

It is important to note that as technology advances and digital payment systems become increasingly prevalent, the usage of negotiable instruments may remain the same over time. However, due to their historical significance, legal framework, and practical benefits, negotiable instruments will likely remain relevant in certain sectors and specific contexts within the banking industry for the foreseeable future.

TYPES OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS:

In the banking sector, negotiable instruments are widely used for various purposes, including:

CHEQUES: Cheques are one of the most common forms of negotiable instruments. They allow an individual or organization (drawer) to pay another party (payee) by instructing their bank to pay a specific amount from their account. The payee can then deposit the cheque into their account or negotiate further.

PROMISSORY NOTES: A promissory note promises to pay a specific sum of money at a future date or on demand. It involves two parties: the maker (borrower) who promises to pay and the payee (lender) who receives the payment. Banks often use promissory notes to extend loans or credit to customers.

BILLS OF EXCHANGE: A bill of exchange is an unconditional written order from one party (drawer) to another (drawee) to pay a specific amount of money to a third party (payee) on a specified date. It is commonly used in international trade transactions, allowing parties to establish a binding payment arrangement.

BANK DRAFTS: Bank drafts are issued by banks and are similar to cheques. They are drawn on the bank’s funds rather than an individual’s account. Bank drafts are considered more secure than personal cheques because they guarantee payment since they are prepaid or paid in advance by the purchaser.

ADVANTAGES OF USAGE OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT IN BANKING SECTOR:

The usage of negotiable instruments in the banking sector offers several advantages. Here are some key benefits:

CONVENIENCE AND PORTABILITY: Negotiable instruments such as checks, promissory notes, and drafts provide a convenient and portable payment method. They can be easily carried and exchanged, allowing for efficient funds transfer between parties.

LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE: Negotiable instruments are legally enforceable documents. They clearly record the transaction, the parties involved, and the payment terms. This enforceability enhances the security and reliability of financial transactions.

TRANSFERABILITY: Negotiable instruments are designed to be easily transferred from one party to another. The holder can transfer their rights to another person or entity by endorsing or signing over the instrument. This feature enables the easy and quick transfer of ownership and payment obligations.

PAYMENT FLEXIBILITY: Negotiable instruments offer flexibility in terms of payment options. For example, with checks, the recipient can choose when to deposit or cash the check, providing some control over the timing of funds utilization. This flexibility is beneficial for businesses managing their cash flows.

CREDITWORTHINESS ASSESSMENT: Banks can evaluate the issuer’s creditworthiness when accepting a negotiable instrument, such as a promissory note. This assessment helps determine the risk associated with the transaction and enables banks to make informed decisions regarding lending or extending credit.

TRACKABILITY: Negotiable instruments often come with a paper trail, providing a record of transactions. This trail can be helpful for auditing, reconciliation, and dispute resolution. It allows for better transparency and accountability in financial transactions.

SECURITY: Negotiable instruments offer a higher security level than cash transactions. They can be easily tracked, canceled, or replaced if lost or stolen, reducing the risk of financial loss.

RECORD-KEEPING: Negotiable instruments generate a paper trail, making it easier for banks and customers to maintain records of transactions. This documentation can be helpful for accounting, auditing, and dispute resolution purposes.

CREDIBILITY: The use of negotiable instruments adds credibility to financial transactions. Banks often act as intermediaries in these transactions, assuring the payee that the device will be honored.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: In disputes or disagreements, negotiable instruments provide a legal framework for resolution. The laws governing negotiable instruments offer clear guidelines on issues such as non-payment, dishonor, and fraud, facilitating a structured process for dispute resolution.

INTEGRATION WITH BANKING SYSTEMS: Negotiable instruments are well-integrated into banking systems, making them compatible with existing banking infrastructure. Banks have established processes and procedures to handle negotiable instruments efficiently, including clearing and settlement systems.

Overall, negotiable instruments play a vital role in the banking sector by providing a secure, convenient, and legally enforceable means of transferring funds and managing financial transactions. They enhance efficiency, reliability, and transparency in the banking system, benefiting individuals and businesses.

DISADVANTAGES OF USAGE OF NEGOTIABLE  INSTRUMENT IN BANKING SECTOR:

While negotiable instruments, such as checks, drafts, and promissory notes, have been widely used in the banking sector for facilitating financial transactions, several disadvantages are associated with their usage. Here are some key drawbacks:

RISK OF FRAUD: Negotiable instruments are susceptible to fraudulent activities, including forgery, alteration, and counterfeiting. Criminals may manipulate or create counterfeit tools, leading to financial losses for individuals and banks.

TIME-CONSUMING PROCESS: The negotiation of negotiable instruments often involves a lengthy process. It requires physical transportation of the device to different parties, verification of signatures, and authorization procedures. This can result in delays and inefficiencies, particularly in today’s fast-paced digital banking environment.

LACK OF REAL-TIME INFORMATION: Negotiable instruments typically need to provide real-time information about the status or availability of funds. Banks must wait for the device to be presented, processed, and cleared, which can cause delays in accessing funds or verifying account balances.

LIMITED SECURITY FEATURES: Traditional negotiable instruments, such as checks, may lack robust security features, making them vulnerable to unauthorized alterations or duplications. This can lead to financial losses and pose risks to the integrity of the banking system.

COSTLY OPERATIONS: Processing and handling negotiable instruments involve various bank costs, including manual labor, physical transportation, and storage. These costs can be significant, especially for institutions dealing with a large volume of instruments, impacting operational efficiency and profitability.

INCONVENIENCE AND INEFFICIENCY: Negotiable instruments often require physical presence or mailing, which can be inconvenient for customers, particularly in remote or geographically dispersed areas. Moreover, manual processing and paperwork could be more efficient than digital payment methods.

LIMITED TRACKING AND AUDITING CAPABILITIES: Tracking and auditing negotiable instruments can be challenging due to their physical nature. Establishing a clear audit trail can take time, leading to potential difficulties in resolving disputes or investigating fraudulent activities.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: Using negotiable instruments requires adherence to various regulatory requirements, such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. Banks must implement stringent controls and monitoring mechanisms to ensure compliance, which can add complexity and cost to their operations.

DECLINING POPULARITY: With the advent of electronic payment systems, mobile banking, and digital currencies, the usage of negotiable instruments has gradually decreased. They are considered outdated and less convenient than faster, more secure, and technologically advanced payment alternatives.

While negotiable instruments still have some relevance in certain banking transactions, these disadvantages highlight the need for continuous innovation and the adoption of modern, secure, and efficient payment methods in the banking sector.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS USED IN BANKING SECTOR:

Negotiable instruments are critical financial documents commonly used in the banking sector for various transactions. They possess specific characteristics that make them valuable and reliable for conducting business. Here are some critical aspects of negotiable instruments:

NEGOTIABILITY: Negotiable instruments are transferable from one party to another by mere delivery or endorsement. The holder of a negotiable instrument can transfer the rights to the device to another person, making it a valuable asset that can be easily traded.

UNCONDITIONAL PROMISE OR ORDER: A negotiable instrument contains an unconditional promise to pay a specific amount of money, either to the bearer (promissory note) or to a designated person or their order (bill of exchange or check). The promise or order to pay must be unequivocal.

WRITTEN DOCUMENT: Negotiable instruments are usually in a written form, although electronic versions are becoming more common. The issuer must document and sign them to create a legally enforceable obligation.

PAYABLE ON DEMAND OR AT A FIXED TIME: Negotiable instruments specify a time for payment. They can either be payable on demand (e.g., checks) or at a fixed future date (e.g., promissory notes or bills of exchange). The payment date is usually indicated on the instrument.

TRANSFERABILITY: Negotiable instruments are designed to facilitate the transfer of rights. They can be freely transferred from one person to another, often through endorsement or delivery, without affecting their validity or enforceability.

HOLDER IN DUE COURSE: A holder in due course is a person who acquires a negotiable instrument in good faith, without notice of any defects or issues, and for value. In due course, the holder enjoys certain legal protections, such as the ability to enforce the instrument against the parties involved.

PRESUMPTION OF CONSIDERATION: Negotiable instruments are presumed to have been issued for valuable consideration. This presumption can be overcome by evidence to the contrary, but the courts assume that there was a valid consideration in the absence of such evidence.

LEGAL PROTECTION: Negotiable instruments are subject to specific laws and regulations that govern their usage, such as the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in the United States. These laws provide a framework for their creation, negotiation, and enforcement.

PAYMENT GUARANTEE: Negotiable instruments, particularly checks, come with an implied guarantee of payment by the issuer. The party receiving a negotiable instrument expects it to be honored, subject to sufficient funds being available in the issuer’s account.

These characteristics make negotiable instruments an effective and widely used method for facilitating transactions in the banking sector, providing a reliable means of payment and transfer of financial obligations.

IMPACT OF USAGE OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS IN THE BANKING SECTOR:

The usage of negotiable instruments in the banking sector significantly impacts financial transactions and facilitates the smooth functioning of the economy. Here are some critical implications of negotiable instruments:

EASY TRANSFER OF FUNDS: Negotiable instruments such as checks and promissory notes allow for the accessible funds transfer between parties. They serve as a medium of exchange, enabling individuals and businesses to make payments, settle debts, and conduct financial transactions conveniently.

PAYMENT CONVENIENCE: Negotiable instruments provide a convenient payment method, especially for more significant transactions. They eliminate the need for carrying large amounts of cash and offer a safer alternative for transferring funds. Individuals can make payments with negotiable instruments by simply writing a check or issuing a promissory note.

INCREASED CREDIBILITY: Using negotiable instruments enhances the credibility of transactions and builds trust between parties. When a check or promissory note is issued, it represents a legal commitment to pay the specified amount. This assures the recipient that they will receive the funds as promised.

RECORD KEEPING AND PROOF OF PAYMENT: Negotiable instruments create a paper trail for financial transactions. Banks maintain records of checks, drafts, and other tools, which serve as proof of payment or receipt. This documentation is valuable for auditing, resolving disputes, and maintaining financial records.

CREDIT FACILITATION: Negotiable instruments play a crucial role in credit facilitation. Banks and financial institutions often accept negotiable instruments as collateral for loans or lines of credit. They provide security for lenders, as the agent represents a legal claim on future funds.

INCREASED BANKING ACTIVITY: The usage of negotiable instruments stimulates banking activity. Checks and other devices are deposited into bank accounts, which increases the flow of funds within the banking system. This activity supports the core functions of banks, such as lending, investing, and providing financial services.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND COMMERCE: Negotiable instruments are widely used in international trade and commerce. Tools such as letters of credit and bills of exchange enable smooth cross-border transactions, reducing the risks associated with global payments and facilitating trade between countries.

CLEARING AND SETTLEMENT: Negotiable instruments are subject to a clearing and settlement process, which involves the verification, processing, and transfer of funds between banks. This process ensures the timely and secure transfer of funds, enabling transactions to be settled efficiently.

It is important to note that the usage of negotiable instruments is evolving in the digital age. Electronic payment systems, such as wire transfers and digital wallets, are gaining prominence andoffering faster and more convenient alternatives to traditional negotiable instruments. However, negotiable instruments still play a vital role in various financial transactions, especially in contexts where digital payment infrastructure may be limited or a legal framework supports their usage.

STEPS TO INCREASE THE USE OF NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS IN BANKING SECTOR:

Several steps can be taken to increase the use of negotiable instruments in the banking sector. Here are some strategies that can help promote the use of negotiable instruments:

PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS: Launch public awareness campaigns to educate individuals and businesses about the benefits and advantages of negotiable instruments. This can include advertisements, workshops, seminars, and online resources to familiarize people with negotiable instruments and their usage.

ENHANCE CUSTOMER EDUCATION: Banks can offer customer education programs to teach their clients about negotiable instruments, such as checks, promissory notes, and bills of exchange. These programs can guide issuing, endorsing, and transferring these instruments effectively and securely.

STREAMLINED PROCESSES: Simplify and streamline the processes related to negotiable instruments. Reduce bureaucracy, paperwork, and waiting times for issuing or depositing negotiable instruments. Banks can encourage their customers to utilize negotiable instruments more frequently by making the processes more convenient and efficient.

COLLABORATION WITH BUSINESSES: Collaborate with small and large businesses to encourage the use of negotiable instruments in commercial transactions. Banks can provide incentives and special offers for companies that adopt negotiable instruments as payment methods, such as reduced fees, faster processing, or access to credit facilities.

ONLINE AND MOBILE BANKING INTEGRATION: Incorporate negotiable instruments into online and mobile banking platforms. Develop user-friendly interfaces that allow customers to issue, deposit, and track negotiable instruments electronically. This integration will make the process more convenient and accessible, encouraging wider adoption.

REGULATORY SUPPORT: Governments and regulatory authorities can play a crucial role in promoting the use of negotiable instruments. They can establish policies and regulations that facilitate the acceptance and recognition of negotiable instruments, ensuring their legal validity and enforceability. This regulatory support provides confidence to both banks and customers in utilizing these instruments.

TRAINING AND SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Conduct training programs for bank employees to enhance their knowledge and understanding of negotiable instruments. Staff members should be well-versed in handling, processing, and verifying negotiable instruments to provide efficient services and build customer trust.

COLLABORATION AMONG BANKS: Banks can collaborate to create standardized practices and guidelines for negotiable instruments. This collaboration can help establish consistency across the banking sector, making it easier for customers to understand and use negotiable instruments regardless of the bank they are dealing with.

INCENTIVES AND REWARDS: Offer incentives and rewards to individuals and businesses that frequently use negotiable instruments. This can include cashback offers, loyalty programs, or exclusive benefits for customers engaging in negotiable instrument transactions.

CONTINUOUS MONITORING AND EVALUATION: Regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of initiatives aimed at increasing the use of negotiable instruments. Identify any challenges or bottlenecks and make necessary adjustments to improve adoption rates and customer satisfaction.

By implementing these steps, banks can encourage using negotiable instruments and create a more efficient and secure financial ecosystem.

PUNISHMENTS AND PENALTIES FOR MISUSING NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT IN BANKING SECTOR:

Misusing negotiable instruments in the banking sector can have serious legal consequences. While I can provide some general information, it’s important to note that specific penalties and punishments may vary based on the offense’s jurisdiction and nature. It’s always advisable to consult relevant local laws and regulations for accurate and up-to-date information. Here are some common punishments and penalties associated with the misuse of negotiable instruments:

CIVIL LIABILITY: Misusing negotiable instruments can lead to civil liability, where the person or entity responsible for the misuse may be required to compensate the affected parties for any financial losses.

CRIMINAL CHARGES: Depending on the severity of the offense, criminal charges may be filed against the individual or entity involved in the misuse of negotiable instruments. Criminal charges can result in penalties such as fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment.

FRAUD CHARGES: Misusing negotiable instruments with fraudulent intent may lead to specific fraud charges, such as check fraud or bank fraud. These charges typically carry more severe penalties and may result in imprisonment and substantial fines.

RESTITUTION: In addition to fines or imprisonment, courts may order the responsible party to pay restitution. Rebate requires the offender to reimburse the affected parties for any financial losses caused by the misuse of negotiable instruments.

LOSS OF BANKING PRIVILEGES: Banks and financial institutions may take disciplinary actions against individuals or businesses that misuse negotiable instruments. This can include closing accounts, suspending banking privileges, or even banning the individual or entity from future banking services.

REGULATORY PENALTIES: Regulatory bodies overseeing the banking sector may impose penalties and fines on financial institutions that fail to prevent or detect the misuse of negotiable instruments adequately. These penalties aim to enforce compliance and deter misconduct within the industry.

It’s important to remember that the severity of punishments and penalties can vary based on the circumstances surrounding the misuse, the amount of money involved, previous offenses, and the applicable laws in the jurisdiction. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult legal professionals or refer to specific banking regulations and laws in your region for accurate information.

CONCLUSION:

Negotiable instruments play a crucial role in commercial transactions by providing a secure and efficient transfer of rights and obligations. These instruments, such as promissory notes, bills of exchange, and checks, possess specific characteristics that make them widely accepted and easily transferable.

Negotiable instruments offer several benefits, including providing immediate payment or credit, facilitating business transactions, and enhancing liquidity in the economy. They provide a legal framework that ensures the enforceability of rights and obligations, promotes trust between parties, and reduces the risk of disputes.

Negotiable instruments have evolved throughout history to adapt to changing economic and technological landscapes. Electronic payment systems and digital currencies have emerged as alternative forms of payment, challenging the traditional paper-based negotiable instruments. However, negotiable instruments play a significant role in various sectors, particularly international trade and banking.

Individuals and businesses must understand the legal principles and requirements governing negotiable instruments. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in the United States and similar laws in other countries provide guidelines and regulations for creating, negotiating, and enforcing negotiable instruments.

In summary, negotiable instruments are essential for conducting business and facilitating economic transactions. They offer advantages such as ease of transfer, security, and enforceability. While new forms of payment continue to emerge, negotiable instruments remain relevant and contribute to the smooth functioning of commercial activities.

REFERENCE:

  • https://getmbodons.blogspot.com
  • https://edurev.in
  • https://lawaimers.com
  • Bare Act on Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881