Is an undated cheque valid? Can I cash an undated cheque?

Section 4(a) Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204) provides that "a bill is not invalid by reason that it is not dated". Where the date has been omitted, it is generally considered that a holder may rely on Section 20(1) Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204) which gives him prima facie authority to write in the date himself.

Section 20(1) Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204)

Where a simple signature on a blank stamped paper is delivered by the signer in order that it may be converted into a bill, it operates as prima facie authority to fill it up as a complete bill for any amount the stamp will cover, using the signature for that of the drawer, or the acceptor, or an indorser; and, in like manner, when a bill is wanting in any material particular, the person in possession of it has a prima facie authority to fill up the omission in any way he thinks fit.

Section 20(2) Bills of Exchange Act 1949 (Act 204)

In order that any such instrument when completed may be enforceable against any person who become a party there-to prior to its completions, it must be filled up within a reasonable time....

Therefore, an undated cheque may be completed by the holder, but the completion is fully effective only if it is done within a reasonable time. What is reasonable time is a question of fact. In Griffiths v. Dalton (1940), 18 months was held to be unreasonable delay in completing the cheque.

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Knowledge Base ID :   1483
Last Reviewed :   April 30, 2014
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