Laws Governing Bounced Cheques in Bahrain

15 Apr 2022

Bahrain; criminal and civil implications of the bounced cheque:

A cheque is defined in Article 446 of the Bahraini Trade Law Number 7 of 1987, and it is considered one of the commercial papers and strives to protect cheques from criminal protection. The Penal Code provides penalties for the crimes related to the cheque. All crimes regarding cheques are committed intentionally; it cannot be correct to say it was done mistakenly or unintentionally, but it could be different in degree. The intent of writing a bad cheque is assumed to be written in bad faith, and that criminal intent is defined in Article 393 of the Penal Code as bad faith.
According to Bahraini Law (Penal Code), crimes regarding cheques are punishable with imprisonment from ten days to three years or a fine of BD 500 or both. Under Article 76 of the Penal Code, the intensified circumstance allows the court to double the maximum sentence of imprisonment, and if the penalty initially prescribed for the offence is a fine that is too limited or has been sentenced to imprisonment. The offences regarding the cheque are crimes in which the public proceedings are settled by conciliation. The victim or his agent or heirs can request the Public Prosecution or court to reconcile with the accused offender if he pays the value of the cheque to the victim after final judgment. The execution judge can order the suspension of execution of the sentence imposed on him at the request of the sentenced person or his deputy and submit the request to the competent enforcement judge within three days from the date of submission of the request. The offender shall return the blank cheque forms to the bank from which he received the cheque forms. The Criminal Court can order the publication of the summary of the judgment in a local newspaper at the expense of the convicted person, and the newspaper publication shall include his name, occupation, domicile, the sentence of the sentenced person under Article 491 of the Bahrain Trade Law.
Furthermore, along with criminal liability associated with bounced cheques, the Central Bank of Bahrain will impose penalty charges of seven Bahraini Dinars on each returned cheque for the reasons of Refer to Drawer, Not Arranged For, Present the cheque again, and Account Closed payable by the bank. Banks in Bahrain are authorized to charge customers no more than fourteen Bahraini Dinars regarding each bounced cheque.