Criminal case pertaining to a dishonoured cheque
July 20 2018 11:55 PM
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By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha

Question: I issued a cheque a few years ago as a guarantee for some payment to a friend. Later the friend left Qatar and I am not sure about the repayment. The cheque was not returned. Now I received a message that the cheque was presented and dishonoured. What are its consequences?
WR, Doha


Answer: The signatory of the cheque shall be punished under the provisions of penal laws in case of dishonour of cheques; the court shall not consider the circumstances or underlying transaction as defence. As per Article 357 of the penal laws, whoever draws in bad faith a cheque without sufficient funds or who, after giving the cheque withdraws all or part of the funds, so that the remaining balance is insufficient to cover the amount of the cheque, or gives an order to the drawee to stop payment, or deliberately writes or signs the cheque in such a manner as to make it unpayable shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than three months and not exceeding three years or with a fine of not less than QR3,000 and not exceeding QR10,000 or with both penalties. The criminal case pertaining to a dishonoured cheque shall be terminated either by payment of the value of the cheque or by withdrawal of the complaint following the occurrence of the crime and prior to the issuance of a final court judgment.


Landlord unwilling to terminate contract
Q: We have started a business in Doha and we have rented a building for business purposes. The lease contract was made for five years and it is valid until 2020. Now we have received a notice from the concerned department stating that we cannot continue our operations in the same building. We contacted our landlord and he is not willing to terminate the contract and return our cheques. Can we terminate the contract legally through courts? We have only three months’ time to vacate the premises. Please advise.  
SK, Doha


A: If the landlord is not agreeing for the termination, the tenant can approach the rental dispute court for termination of the contract. As per Article 591 of the Civil Laws, if the leased property is delivered to the lessee in such a condition that it is unfit for the use for which it is leased, or if its usefulness is appreciably diminished, the lessee may demand either the cancellation of the lease agreement or a reduction of the rent equivalent to the loss of use; in both cases lessee is entitled to claim compensation, if compensation is due without prejudice to his right to oblige the lessor to carry out the necessary repairs to enable him to get the intended benefit. 


Failure to attend court hearing
Q: An expert from the court has directed to report with regard to a dispute relating to a project. Due to some personal inconveniences, I cannot attend the hearing on suggested dates. What will be the action taken for not attending the hearings? What will be effect of such failures? Please advise.
YJ, Doha


A: According to Article 346 of Civil and Commercial Procedural Law, the expert shall hear the litigant’s statements, receive documents and remarks. If any of them fail to appear before him, or fail to present his instruments, or else fail to implement any one of the expert proceedings on the specified terms, so that it becomes impossible for the expert to assume his duty or conduce to retardation in assuming thereof, he may move for the court to pronounce a ruling punishing the litigant. The court may rule a fine or suspension of the action for a period not exceeding six months under Article 67 of procedural Law. According to Article 67, the court shall order any of its employees or the parties that fail to file the documents or to take any of the litigation proceedings within the time limit specified by the court to pay a fine of not more than QR500 pursuant to an order noted in the minutes of the hearing. The court order that imposes a fine shall have the force of executive decree and shall not be subject to appeal.


Medical benefits for work injuries
Q: Our contract does not mention anything clearly on the medical benefits available to an employee regarding work injuries. What are the medical benefits available for an employee according to the Labour Law? In what circumstances, the employer can refuse to pay the medical benefits to the employee? Please advise. 
SL, Doha


A: As per Article 109 of the Labour Law, the worker who sustains a work injury shall be entitled to receive medical treatment appropriate to his condition at the cost of the employer in accordance with the decision of the competent medical authority. The worker shall receive full wage during the treatment period or the period of six months whichever is nearer. If the treatment continues for a period exceeding six months, the worker shall be paid half of his wage until his recovery or proof of his permanent disability or death whichever is nearer. If it is evident that the employee deliberately inflicts injury on himself in order to receive such compensation or medical leave, he or she shall not be eligible for the medical benefits as per the Labour Law. 

* Please send your questions to [email protected]


LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR

According to Article 430 of Civil and Commercial Procedure Law, sale may be concluded only after the lapse of at least ten days from the date of handing over a copy of the attachment minutes to the debtor or notifying him thereof. Moreover, sale shall be permitted only after the lapse of at least one day from the date of completion of the procedures of posting and publication. Nevertheless, if attached items are prone to damage or if goods are susceptible to price fluctuation or if their value cannot bear the expenses of their maintenance, the judge of execution may order conducting the sale at the place and time that he deems appropriate, as the case may be, based on a petition filed by the receiver or the concerned party.
Sale shall be conducted in the place in which the attached items are kept or in the nearest market. However, the judge of execution may order conducting the sale in another place upon a petition filed by one of the concerned parties after serving a summons stating the date and place of sale.
As per Article 432, if the value of the items under sale, according to its estimation in the minutes, exceeds QR100,000, an announcement of sale shall be made once in daily newspaper at the expense of the distrainer creditor. The announcement shall include the day, hour, place of sale, type of attached items and description of total number of items. The distrainer creditor or distrainee may request, through a petition filed before the judge of execution, to publish more announcements in the newspapers. Both the distrainer and distrainee may, if the value of items exceeds QR50,000, request the Registry of court to publish the announcement at his own cost. 
Sale shall be made through auction under the supervision of the execution officer. He shall only commence sale after assessment of the attached items and he shall record a minute stating their condition and any defect thereof. The successful bidder at the auction shall immediately pay the price that he offered for purchase. If he fails to pay, the attached item shall be offered for sale in a new auction.
According to Article 435, it shall not be permitted to sell jewellery, gold or silver bars, jewels or precious stones for a price less than its real value as assessed by an expert who is appointed by the judge of execution. The expert’s name shall be included in the minutes. If no person wants to purchase it, it shall be kept in the treasury of the court in the same way as money is kept. The execution officer shall adjourn the sale of the abovementioned items to the following day if it is not an official holiday. If no purchaser has offered the assessed value and the distrainer has not accepted it in lieu of his debt equivalent to this value, the sale shall be adjourned to another day and the advertisement and posting shall be repeated. These items shall then be sold to the highest bidder in the auction even if they are sold for a price less than the assessed one. 
If the successful bidder has not paid the price immediately, sale shall be made at his expense at any price. The minutes of sale shall be deemed as executive deed for the bidder of the difference in price.



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