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Negotiable Instruments | | | | | Definition | | | |
A negotiable instrument is a document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time. Under section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, “a negotiable instrument” means a promissory note, bills of exchange or chequ payable either to order or to bearer”. According to Judge Willis: “A negotiable instrument is one the property in which is acquired by every person who takes it bonafide and for value, not withstanding any defect of title in the person from whom he took it.”
It is a document contemplated by a contract, which (1) warrants the payment of money, the promise of or order for conveyance of which is unconditional; (2) specifies or describes the payee, who is designated on and memorialized by the instrument; and (3) is capable of change through transfer by valid negotiation of the instrument.
As payment of money is promised subsequently, the instrument itself can be used by the holder in due course as a store of value; although, instruments can be transferred for amounts in contractual exchange that are less than the instrument’s face value (known as “discounting”).

Types of Negotiable instruments a) Promissory note: A written, dated and signed two-party instrument containing an unconditional promise by the maker to pay a definite sum of money to a payee on demand or at specified future date.

b) Bill of exchange: Bills of exchange are financial documents that require the individual or business that is addressed in the document to pay a specified amount of money on a date that is cited within the text of the document.

c) Cheque: A bill of exchange drawn on a bank by the holder of a current account; payable into a bank account, if crossed, or on demand, if uncrossed.

Characteristics of Negotiable Instrument
The following…...

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