‘In UAE, what is the legal validity of a cheque to initiate a criminal or civil case?’


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Validity of a cheque

Question: What is the legal time-frame for the validity of a cheque in a civil or criminal case? Is the period calculated from the date on which the cheque is due or from the date when the cheque is issued? In my case, the period between the date when the cheque is issued and the due date of the cheque is three years.

Answer: From the perspective of a criminal case, the maximum time-frame associated with a cheque is five years, starting from the date the beneficiary receives the cheque and not its due date.

Article (20) of Federal Criminal Procedural Law, as amended by Federal Law No (29) of 2005, dated 30/11/2005, states: ‘In other than offences against public order, punitive offences, blood money offences, felonies punished by death sentence or life imprisonment, the criminal action is tied to a 20-year time limit. In case of other felonies, it is five years in case of misdemeanours and one year in contraventions, as from the date of perpetration of the offence in all cases. The period of limitation of the criminal action shall not stop for any reason whatsoever.’

It is determined by Dubai Court that ‘the statute of limitations for which the criminal lawsuit expires in case of a crime related to a cheque begins to take effect from the time the cheque is delivered to the beneficiary. Having a sufficient balance is nothing but a crime-detector measure’. (Cassation No 760/2013 Penal). It is also determined by Dubai Courts that “the statute of limitations by which the criminal case in a crime involving a cheque expires begins from the time the cheque is delivered to the beneficiary. If five years have not passed from the date of committing the crime, then the criminal case has not lapsed’. In cassation No 68/2016. Penal.

From the perspective of a civil case, the limitation period of the cheque is 15 days starting from the due date as per Article (473) of Federal Law No (5) of 1985 on the Civil Transactions Law of the United Arab Emirates (A right shall not be forfeited by time limitation, but the hearing of the court case, against the one who denies it, shall not be admissible after the lapse of fifteen years without legal excuse, after due observance of the matter governed by special provisions.)

Divorce law

Question: I am a Muslim woman who has been married to a Muslim man for two years and I have two sons. Four months ago, my husband divorced me and I approved of the divorce before the Sharia court. My question is: Can I legally marry another man?

Answer: Divorce is of two types as per article 104 of the UAE Personal Status law: Retractable or non-retractable.

1) The retractable repudiation (revocable divorce) does not put an end to marriage unless after the expiry of the waiting period (Idda).

2) The non-retractable repudiation (irrevocable divorce) ends the marriage upon its occurrence. It may take one of the following two forms:

a) Repudiation with right to remarry (Baynunah Minor). The divorcee may not return to the man who divorced her except after a new contract of marriage and a new dowry.

b) Final and decisive repudiation (Baynunah Major). The divorcee may not return to the man who divorced her except after expiry of the waiting period (Idda) from another husband who had carnal experience of her pursuant to a valid marriage.

Every repudiation is retractable except the repudiation completing the third, the one occurring prior to sexual intercourse and the one considered by law final and decisive.

A) Revocable divorce: Article 104 states: ‘Revocable divorce does not terminate the marriage contract unless the waiting period has expired.’

This means that the husband can still return his wife to his infallibility, since this type of divorce does not terminate the marriage contract, and the divorce remains in effect if the man returns his wife again, whether by word or deed. But in the event that the waiting period ends and the husband does not return her to his infallibility, then the divorce has entered into the final ruling of Baynunah Minor and the woman has the right to marry another man.

B) Irrevocable divorce as a Baynunah Minor:

i) This type of divorce occurs, when the husband utters the oath of divorce on his wife for one or two times, i.e. less than the three rounds, and he does not return his wife during the waiting period. Baynunah Minor gives the husband the right to return his divorced wife, with a new contract or dowry as stated in the aforementioned Article 104, without the need to marry another man.

ii) Irrevocable divorce as a Baynunah Major:

This type of divorce removes and breaks the marital bond permanently between the spouses, as it is not permissible for a husband who divorced three times to return his wife to his infallibility, except in the event that she marries another man who actually entered into a valid marriage as per what Article 104 states.

The implications of divorce are: According to Article 107, ‘Upon request of the concerned persons and after divorce, the competent judge issues an order fixing the woman’s alimony during her waiting period as well as the alimony of the children, determines the person who has the right to foster the child and the right to visit the fostered child.

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This order is considered as being of summary execution by force of law and the prejudiced party may appeal against this order by all means of appeal prescribed by law’.

Finally, the questioner has the right to choose whether to marry another man or to return to her ex-husband with a new contract and a new dowry.


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