When I left my previous job, my employer issued a cheque of Dh200,000 as commission due to me. He, however, requested me to deposit the cheque after six months since he had financial problems. The cheque was dated. Six months later when I went to encash the cheque to at a Dubai bank, I was told that it could not be honoured because it was more than six months old. The banker told me to ask the person who issued the cheque to renew the date. I tried to get my previous employer to either renew the date or issue a new cheque, but he evaded me every time. Does the bank have the right to reject the cheque if it is more than six months old? How do I obtain my money? Should I file a police complaint against my previous employer accusing him of dishonesty and fraud? I have commitments and need to encash the cheque to honour them.

The questioner made a mistake by holding on to the cheque for more than six months. Banks do not accept cheques dated back over six months. Such cheques will be honoured only after the approval of cheque issuer. The questioner cannot file a criminal complaint regarding the cheque or any other complaint related to dishonesty and fraud because the nature of dealing between the questioner and the previous employer is a labour or civil case and related to debt. So the jurisdiction lies with the civil court. I advise the questioner to file a case before the civil court to claim the value of the cheque. I would like to assure the questioner that if it the civil court is convinced that his rights have been infringed upon, the court will oblige the debtor to pay the cheque value. He may face imprisonment if he refuses to pay.

Passport as guarantee

I have a friend who was detained in connection with a criminal case in which two other people were also arrested. The criminal court released them on bail and I stood guarantor for my friend by submitting my passport to authorities. Now, this friend has run away and there is no news about his whereabouts. The next hearing is on April 15. What if he does not appear in court on the day of the hearing? What is the risk of being a guarantor in this case?

According to articles 112,113,114 of Criminal Procedures UAE Code No. 35 of 1992 and its amended version no 29 of 2005, the guarantor is legally responsible for the absence of the accused in any case. Therefore, as soon as court proceedings are completed and the questioners applies to collect his passport, the court will direct him to pay a certain fine before his passport is released.

Credit card cheque

Should I sign a blank cheque as a security bond to obtain a credit card in the UAE? I was issued a credit card, but the bank demanded that I give an undated signed blank cheque. Is this legal? What does the law say in this case?

According to Chapter 3 of the Commercial Transaction UAE Law No 18 of 1993, the bank has the legal right to demand a security cheque to guarantee the facilities of a credit card. But I advise the questioner to write the limit amount on the cheque and not to sign a blank one.

Ask the Law questions are answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.

— Compiled by Bassam Za’za’, Legal and Court Correspondent