ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
BILLS OF EXCHANGE
Form and Interpretation
3. Bill of exchange defined
4. Inland and foreign bills
5. Effect where different parties to bill are the same person
6. Address to drawee
7. Certainty required as to payee
8. What bills are negotiable
9. Sum payable
10. Bill payable on demand
11. Bill payable at a future time
12. Omission of date in bill payable after date
13. Ante-dating and post-dating
14. Computation of time of payment
15. Case of need
16. Optional stipulations by drawer or indorser
17. Definition and requisites of acceptance
18. Time for acceptance
19. General and qualified acceptances
20. Inchoate instruments
Capacity and Authority of Parties
22. Capacity of parties
23. Signature essential to liability
24. Forged or unauthorized signature
25. Procuration signatures
26. Person signing as agent or in representative capacity
The Consideration for a Bill
27. Value and holder for value
28. Accommodation bill or party
29. Holder in due course
30. Presumption of value and good faith
Negotiation of Bills
31. Negotiation of bill
32. Requisites of a valid indorsement
33. Conditional indorsement
34. Indorsement in blank and special indorsement
35. Restrictive indorsement
36. Negotiation of overdue or dishonoured bill
37. Negotiation of bill to party already liable thereon
38. Rights of the holder
General Duties of the Holder
39. When presentment for acceptance is necessary
40. Time for presenting bill payable after sight
41. Rules as to presentment for acceptance, and excuses for non-presentment
43. Dishonour by non-acceptance and its consequences
44. Duties as to qualified acceptance
45. Rules as to presentment for payment
46. Excuses for delay or non-presentment for payment
47. Dishonour by non-payment
48. Notice of dishonour and effect of non-notice
49. Rules as to notice of dishonour
50. Excuses for non-notice and delay
51. Noting or protest of bill
52. Duties of holder as regards drawee or acceptor
Liabilities of Parties
53. Funds in hands of drawee
54. Liability of acceptor
55. Liability of drawer or indorser
56. Stranger signing bill liable as indorser
57. Measure of damages against parties to dishonoured bill
58. Transferor by delivery and transferee
Discharge of Bill
59. Payment in due course
60. Banker paying demand draft whereon indorsement is forged
61. Acceptor the holder at maturity
62. Express waiver
64. Alteration of bill
Acceptance and Payment for Honour
65. Acceptance for honour supra protest
66. Liability of acceptor for honour
67. Presentment to acceptor for honour
68. Payment for honour supra protest
69. Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill
70. Action on lost bill
Bill in a Set
71. Rules as to sets
Conflict of Laws
72. Rules where laws conflict
CHEQUES ON A BANKER
73. Cheque defined
74. Presentment of cheque for payment
75. Revocation of banker’s authority
76. Rights of bankers collecting cheques not indorsed by holders
77. Unindorsed cheques as evidence of payment
78. Protection of bankers paying unindorsed or irregularly indorsed cheques, etc.
79. Protection of bankers collecting payment of cheques, etc.
80. General and special crossings defined
81. Crossing by drawer or after issue
82. Crossing a material part of cheque
83. Duties of banker as to crossed cheques
84. Protection to banker and drawer where cheque is crossed
85. Effect of crossing on holder
86. Application of certain provisions of this Act to instruments not being bills of exchange
87. Government to be regarded as a customer of a banker
89. Promissory note defined
90. Delivery necessary
91. Joint and several notes
92. Note payable on demand
93. Presentment of note for payment
94. Liability of maker
95. Application of Part II to notes
96. Good faith
98. Computation of time
99. When noting equivalent to protest
100. Protest when notary not accessible
101. Dividend warrants may be crossed
15 of 1967
An Act relating to Bills of Exchange, Cheques and Promissory Notes, and Matters Incidental thereto
[28TH JULY 1967]
This Act may be cited as the Bills of Exchange Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“acceptance” means an acceptance completed by delivery or notification;
“action” includes counter claim and set off;
“banker” includes a body of persons whether incorporated or not who carry on the business of banking;
“bankrupt” includes any person whose estate is vested in a trustee or assignee under the law for the time being in force relating to bankruptcy;
“bearer” means the person in possession of a bill or note which is payable to bearer;
“bill” means bill of exchange, and “note” means promissory note;
“delivery” means transfer of possession, actual or constructive, from one person to another;
“holder” means the payee or indorsee of a bill or note who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof;
“indorsement” means an indorsement completed by delivery;
“issue” means the first delivery of a bill or note, complete in form to a person who takes it as a holder;
“value” means valuable consideration;
“written” includes printed, and “writing” includes print.
BILLS OF EXCHANGE
Form and Interpretation
(1) A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person, or to bearer.
(2) An instrument which does not comply with these conditions, or which orders any act to be done in addition to the payment of money, is not a bill of exchange.
(3) An order to pay out of a particular fund is not unconditional within the meaning of this section; but an unqualified order to pay, coupled with—
(a) an indication of a particular fund out of which the drawee is to re-imburse himself or a particular account to be debited with the amount; or
(b) a statement of the transaction which gives rise to the bill, is unconditional.
(4) A bill is not invalid by reason—
(a) that it is not dated;
(b) that it does not specify the value given, or that any value has been given therefor;
(c) that it does not specify the place where it is drawn or the place where it is payable.
(1) An inland bill is a bill which is or on the face of it purports to be both drawn and payable within Malawi, or drawn within Malawi upon some person resident therein. Any other bill is a foreign bill.
(2) Unless the contrary appear on the face of the bill the holder may treat it as an inland bill.
(1) A bill may be drawn payable to, or to the order of, the drawer; or it may be drawn payable to, or to the order of, the drawee.
(2) Where in a bill drawer and drawee are the same person, or where the drawee is a fictitious person or a person not having capacity to contract, the holder may treat the instrument, at his option, either as a bill of exchange or as a promissory note.
(1) The drawee must be named or otherwise indicated in a bill with reasonable certainty.
(2) A bill may be addressed to two or more drawees whether they are partners or not, but an order addressed to two drawees in the alternative or to two or more drawees in succession is not a bill of exchange.
(1) Where a bill is not payable to bearer, the payee must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.
(2) A bill may be made payable to two or more payees jointly, or it may be made payable in the alternative to one of two, or one or some of several payees. A bill may also be made payable to the holder of an office for the time being
(3) Where the payee is a fictitious or non-existing person the bill may be treated as payable to bearer.
(1) When a bill contains words prohibiting transfer, or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable, it is valid as between the parties thereto, but is not negotiable.
(2) A negotiable bill may be payable either to order or to bearer.
(3) A bill is payable to bearer which is expressed to be so payable, or on which the only or last indorsement is an indorsement in blank.
(4) A bill is payable to order which is expressed to be so payable, or which is expressed to be payable to a particular person, and does not contain words prohibiting transfer or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable.
(5) Where a bill, either originally or by indorsement, is expressed to be payable to the order of a specified person, and not to him or his order, it is nevertheless payable to him or his order at his option.
(1) The sum payable by a bill is a sum certain within the meaning of this Act, although it is required to be paid—
(a) with interest;
(b) by stated instalments;
(c) by stated instalments, with a provision that upon default in payment of any instalment the whole shall become due;
(d) according to an indicated rate of exchange or according to a rate of exchange to be ascertained as directed by the bill.
(2) Where the sum payable is expressed in words and also in figures, and there is a discrepancy between the two, the sum denoted by the words is the amount payable,
(3) Where a bill is expressed to be payable with interest, unless the instrument otherwise provides, interest runs from the date of the bill, and if the bill is undated from the issue thereof.
(1) A bill is payable on demand—
(a) which is expressed to be payable on demand, or at sight, or on presentation; or
(b) in which no time for payment is expressed.
(2) Where a bill is accepted or indorsed when it is overdue, it shall, as regards the acceptor who so accepts, or any indorser who so indorses it, be deemed a bill payable on demand.
(1) A bill is payable at a determinable future time within the meaning of this Act which is expressed to be payable—
(a) at a fixed period after date or sight;
(b) on or at a fixed period after the occurrence of a specified event which is certain to happen, though the time of happening may be uncertain.
(2) An instrument expressed to be payable on a contingency is not a bill, and the happening of the event does not cure the defect.
Where a bill expressed to be payable at a fixed period after date is issued undated, or where the acceptance of a bill payable at a fixed period after sight is undated, any holder may insert therein the true date of issue or acceptance, and the bill shall be payable accordingly:
(a) where the holder in good faith and by mistake inserts a wrong date; and
(b) in every case where a wrong date is inserted, if the bill subsequently comes into the hands of a holder in due course, the bill shall not be avoided thereby, but shall operate and be payable as if the date so inserted had been the true date.
(1) Where a bill or an acceptance or any indorsement on a bill is dated, the date shall, unless the contrary be proved, be deemed to be the true date of the drawing, acceptance, or indorsement, as the case may be.
(2) A bill is not invalid by reason only that it is ante-dated or post-dated, or that it bears date on a Sunday.
Where a bill is not payable on demand the day on which it falls due is determined as follows—
(a) three days, called days of grace, are, in every case where the bill itself does not otherwise provide, added to the time of payment as fixed by the bill, and the bill is due and payable on the last day of grace:
(i) when the last day of grace falls on Sunday, Christmas Day, or Good Friday, the bill is, except in the case hereinafter provided for, due and payable on the preceding business day;
(ii) when the last day of grace is a public holiday (other than Christmas Day or Good Friday) or when the last day of grace is a Sunday and the second day of grace is a public holiday (other than Christmas Day), the bill is due and payable on the succeeding business day;
(b) where a bill is payable at a fixed period after date, after sight, or after the happening of a specified event, the time of payment is determined by excluding the day from which the time is to begin to run and by including the day of payment;
(c) where a bill is payable at a fixed period after sight, the time begins to run from the date of the acceptance if the bill be accepted, and from the date of noting or protest if the bill be noted or protested for non-acceptance, or for non-delivery;
(d) the term “month” in a bill means calendar month.
The drawer of a bill and any endorser may insert therein the name of a person to whom the holder may resort in case of need, that is to say, in case the bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance or non-payment. Such person is called the referee in case of need. It is in the option of the holder to resort to the referee in case of need or not as he may think fit.
The drawer of a bill, and any indorser, may insert therein an express stipulation—
(a) negativing or limiting his own liability to the holder;
(b) waiving as regards himself some or all of the holder’s duties.
(1) The acceptance of a bill is the signification by the drawee of his assent to the order of the drawer.
(2) An acceptance is invalid unless it complies with the following conditions, namely—
(a) it must be written on the bill and be signed by the drawee. The mere signature of the drawee without additional words is sufficient;
(b) it must not express that the drawee will perform his promise by any other means than the payment of money.
(1) A bill may be accepted—
(a) before it has been signed by the drawer, or while otherwise incomplete;
(b) when it is overdue, or after it has been dishonoured by a previous refusal to accept, or by non-payment.
(2) When a bill payable after sight is dishonoured by non-acceptance, and the drawee subsequently accepts it, the holder, in the absence of any different agreement, is entitled to have the bill accepted as of the date of first presentment to the drawee for acceptance.
(1) An acceptance is either general or qualified.
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