When Presentment is Unnecessary?

The general rule is that a negotiable instrument must be presented for payment to the maker, acceptor or drawee, by or on behalf of the holder to charge the other parties to the instrument with liability. Section 76 enumerates exceptions to this general rule. 

It specifies the circumstances in which presentment for payment is altogether dispensed with. But there are also circumstances which, without delay in making presentment, will excuse delay in making it. Delay in making presentment for payment is excused, when the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the holder, and not due to his default, misconduct or negligence. For example, owing to the prevalence of war in the place where the bill was payable, the holder could not present it at maturity, hence delay in presentment was held excusable. But, when the cause of delay ceases to operate, presentment must be made with reasonable diligence. Section 76 enlists the following exceptional situations where presentment for payment is unnecessary and the instrument will be taken as dishonoured. These are listed in clauses (a) to (d) of section 76.


a) Intentionally prevents: If the maker, drawee or acceptor intentionally prevents the presentment of the instrument or he closes the business place during business hours on a working day or when the instrument is made payable at a specific place, he fails to come there or he could not be found even after a due search.


b) Waiver:Presentment is unnecessary as against the party sought to be charged therewith if he has agreed to pay notwithstanding non-presentment.


c) Payment after maturity: No presentment for payment is necessary as against any party if, after maturity, with knowledge that the instrument has not been presented, he makes a part payment on account of the amount due on the instrument. Proof of such a part payment or promise to pay is necessary. Similarly, a promise to pay the amount due there on can also be made.


d) As against the drawer: As against the drawer, presentment is not necessary, if he cannot suffer any damage for want of presentment. When the drawer has no funds, belonging to himself in the hands of the drawee, neither notice of dishonour nor presentment for payment within a reasonable time is necessary.

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