Canara bank vs Canara sales corporation case |Explained!

By: Gurmehar Randhawa

Canara Bank vs Canara Sales Corporation & Ors Citation – 1987 AIR 1603

The Case

In its Mangalore Builder Branch, the respondent firm maintained an account with the lant-bank. The firm’s Managing Director along with the General Manager of a subsidiary firm was empowered to operate the aforementioned account.

The second defendant was in command of the respondent-accounting company’s and also had ownership of the cheque book offered by the bank to the respondent company.

Substantial inconsistencies in the records were discovered in the process of transferring the accounts updated, and upon inspection, it was discovered that checks claiming to contain the signature of the Managing Director were emphasized, even though they did not bore ‘his sign.

The respondent firm filed a police report, and a specialized examination of the firm’s records from 1957-58 to 1960-61 by a firm of Chartered Accountants revealed that the other defendant withdrew Rs.3,26.047.92 in 42 cheques.

A complaint was brought to reclaim the aforementioned sum because the funds from the forged cheques just weren’t used for the respondent firm’s benefit. that they had been not permitted but there was no explicit or implicit agreement or acceptance by the opposing corporation, and that the respondent was uninformed of the deception until the new accountant uncovered it.

The appellant-bank objected to the claim on the basis that the cheques have not been fabricated, and that even if they were, The firm never was allowed to collect the money due to its carelessness; there has been periodic resolution of accounts between claimants and as such, the firm wasn’t eligible to open the same as well demand the monies paid under the cheque; and the litigation was prohibited by limitations.

The other defendant claimed that the cheques were used for business purposes. After the consumer has been given a fair opportunity to study the bank statements. Its debit transactions must be accepted and approved and would not be subject to reconstructing to the bank’s prejudice.

Of course, what constitutes a reasonable chance will vary based on the details of each situation. In law, the banker and the consumer must always have a settled or declared account.

“When a cheque which is presented for encashment contains a forged signature the bank has no authority to make payment against such a cheque. The bank would be acting against law in debiting the customer with the amounts covered by such cheques.”

1- Issues raised

The issue now is whether the consumer’s unqualified receipt of an amount struck in the passbook or statement of financial position represents a settled account.

It is argued that this area of banking law has yet to be authoritatively determined by this Court, and it has asked us to rule on it.


The trial Court rejected the bank’s arguments and issued an order for the amount demanded, plus interest at the rate of 6%.

The Bench upheld the trial court’s decision on appeal, but because the matter contained major legal issues of wide public concern, it issued a certification to pursue the appeal. In the appeal to the Court, the applicant alleged that. In the appeal before this Court, the appellant contended that:

  • (1) after reasonable opportunities are given to the customer to examine the bank statements, its debit entries should be deemed final and will not be open to reconstruction to the detriment of the bank;
  • (2) after reasonable opportunities are given to the customer to examine the bank statements, its debit entries should be deemed final and will not be open to reconstruction to the detriment of the bank.
  • (3) A interpretation could be made through either declaration or by acts, and conduct includes neglect, acquiescence, capitulation, or inspiration, and when a depositor fails to provide accurate information about forged cheques due to his negligence, the sum generated on such cheques is permitted to be taken. The debit would then hold again for the entire amount, and the customer will be barred from asserting it; and
  • (4) lack of action for an extended period would amount to such neglect as to encourage a jury to imbue the client with understanding, or at the very least sensible expertise, and to deny him reprieve in an activity for rehabilitation of quantities it would be to the disadvantage of an innocent party, namely, the bank.


The judgment has wide importance in establishing the connection in equity law between the lender and its client regarding each other’s responsibility and pointing out carelessness in executing the obligation.

This case illustrates the activities to be taken by both disputing parties of the scam and who is at fault for negligence. In the very first instance, the jury decided that perhaps the signatures on the checks were fabricated when submitted as testimony, and the other defendant’s plea was rejected.

The second aspect of the issue concerns ‘the appellant’s settled the account with the firm.’ In this regard, the appellant claimed that 42 fake cheques were given between 1957 and 1961 and that the bank used to provide credit and debit statements to the firm every month and during the half-year period, which is on June 30th and December 31st.

The plaintiff-Managing company’s Director confessed that he had obtained the periodic statements and that he had never informed the Bank of the inaccuracy. The notion of estoppel is used to prevent the accomplishments from collecting from the bank’s described settled accounts.

The complainant’s incompetence in examining the report statements is an act of neglect, and if significant caution is used, the evil may be brought to the company’s attention early.

However, in clarifying the foregoing fact, which is minimizing the respondent’s fault, the court focused further on the connection between the bank and the consumer.

This is a creditor-debtor relationship. When a cheque given for payment of the amount includes a forged signature, the bank is not obligated to fulfil the payment. Honouring such checks would be an unlawful act.

An honour cheque is one in which a client has a bank account and the bank is mandated to make a payment covered by the cheque. Nevertheless, if the sign on the check is not authentic, the bank is not obligated to pay.

So, when the bank pays settlement on a cheque, this could defend the consumer’s demand with the defence of carelessness on his side, such as placing the cheque book carelessly where other persons may readily obtain it.

Banks do have their advantages in commerce, as did customers who were linked with the bank. They have such a trusting bond with one another. As a result, a statement in the passbook or a statement of the letter will not diverge from the faith that is created when a client irresponsibly overlooks certain faults in his account.

This trust is critical to the bank’s operations. The “settled account” by the bank is acceptable in defining the consumer’s neglect in monitoring their accounts, and if such fake checks were provided, awareness thereof would have averted such harm.

So, even if such reports are supported by a party’s carelessness, can they be regarded as a reality for Estoppel?

Reality for Estoppel

To understand neglect, which is formed from a duty among three or more individuals and one who is aware of such obligation but fails to act on the action that would have been done in executing such responsibility.

However, the banker’s responsibility is to desecrate such a demonstration of the fraudulent check, which represents an act of negligence on the part of the bank, regardless of how grossly negligent the consumer has reviewed his passbook statements.

As a result, simple carelessness will not preclude a client from challenging a bank for restitution. As a consequence, the appellant’s position is denied, and the court, in this case, affirmed the views of the High Court and Trial Court in this matter.

Following that, the lawsuit was dismissed. “There is no duty for a customer to inform the bank of fraud committed on him. of which he was unaware. Nor can in-action for a reasonably long time in not discovering fraud or irregularity be made a defence to defeat a customer in an action for loss.

Thus, the contentions put for1158 ward by the bank cannot be accepted to defeat the plaintiff.”2


This case serves as a foundation for understanding the connection shared by the banking and its clients, which is entwined with threads of duty and equity, during times of carelessness by either party or when either side is involved in fraudulent actions.

As a result, mere carelessness on the side of the bank cannot be used to justify not employing the same. Finally, the court concluded that the firm is entitled to compensation, thereby dismissing the lawsuit.


  1. Canara Bank vs Canara Sales Corporation & Ors, 1987 AIR 1603, (India)
  2. (2014, 02). Canara Bank V. Canara Sales Corporation & Ors (3) india. Retrieved 11, 2021, from


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