The ministry of finance has proposed to decriminalize several economic offences including dishonor of Cheque under section 138 of the Negotiable instrument act, and has invited comments from the stakeholders for the same.

The ministry has stated in their statement of purpose that — “improving business sentiment and unclogging court process” in wake of economic crises due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Last month Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced to decriminalize minor economic offences as a part of “Atamanirbahr economic package”. A statement has been issued from the ministry stating “Criminalizing procedural lapses and minor non – compliances increase the burden on business and it is essential that one should re-look at the provisions which are merely procedural in nature and does not impact the national security or public interest at large”. 

(Siddharth Addy)