The object of introducing sections 138 to 142 to the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (the “NI Act”) was to ensure efficacy of banking operations and credibility of transacting in negotiable instruments. However, with the passage of time, the number of pending cheque dishonour cases increased exponentially. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment and Miscellaneous) Act, 2002, among others introduced Section 147 to the NI Act, that made offences for dishonour of cheques compoundable. One of the reasons for this amendment was to ensure speedy disposal of these cases, that was causing a huge burden on the judicial system. INDUSLAW’s Lomesh Kiran Nidumuri and Karthik Dhanaraj discuss the ambiguity surrounding the accused’s right to seek compounding of an offence for cheque dishonour without the consent of the complainant.