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Promissory Note

According to the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881,”a promissory note is defined as an instrument in writing (not being a bank note or a currency note), containing an unconditional undertaking signed by the maker, to pay a certain sum of money only to or to the order of a certain person, or to the bearer of the instrument”.

This definition mean that when a person gives a promise in writing to pay a certain sum of money unconditionally to a certain person or according to his order the document is called is a promissory note.


Following are the features of a promissory note:
  • It must be in writing
  • It must contain an unconditional promise to pay.
  • The sum payable must be certain.
  • It must be signed by the maker.
  • The maker must sign it.
  • It must be payable to a certain person.
  • It should be properly stamped.
A promissory note does not require any acceptance because the maker of the promissory note himself promises to make the payment.

Ashok Kumar                                                                         New Delhi

Rs. 30,000                                                                         01 April, 2006

Three months after date I promise to pay Sh. Harish Chander or order a sum of Rupees Thirty Thousand only for value received.



Harish Chander                                                                     Ashok Kumar

24, Ansari Road                                                                  2, Dariba Kalan

Darya Ganj                                                                          Candani Chowk

New Delhi 110 002                                                               Delhi 110 006

Fig. 8.2: Showing specimen of promissory note

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