DATE. The Bills of Exchange Act, 1882, provides : '` Section 3. (4) A bill is not invalid by reason " (a) That it is not dated." " Section 12. "Where a bill expressed to be payable at a fixed period after date is issued undated, or where the acceptance of a bill payable at a fixed period after sight is undated, any holder may insert therein the true date of issue or acceptance, and the bill shall be payable accordingly.
" Provided that (1) where the holder in good faith and by mistake inserts a wrong date, and (2) in every case where a wrong date is inserted, if the bill subsequently comes into the hands of a holder in due course the bill shall not be avoided thereby, but shall operate and be payable as if the date so inserted had been the true date." Where an undated bill has a date inserted after acceptance, notice of the date so inserted should be given to the acceptor, otherwise he will not know when the bill is due.
The above Section applies only to bills, but with regard to cheques where the date has been omitted it is generally considered that a holder may insert what he takes to be the true date.
" Section 13. (1) Where a bill or an acceptance or any indorsement on a bill is dated, the date shall, unless the contrary be proved, be deemed to be the true date of the drawing, acceptance, or indorsement, as the case may be.
" (2) A bill is not invalid by reason only that it is ante-dated or post-dated, or that it bears date on a Sunday." Ante-dating is placing a date prior to the true date ; post-dating, placing a date subsequent to the true date.
The difference between the insertion of an omitted date and the alteration of a date should be noted. The above section permits any holder to insert a date, but Section 64 (see under ALTERATIONS) requires all parties to agree to an alteration.
The date is a material part of a bill and any in a date, unless with the assent of all the parties liable on the bill, avoids the bill except as against the party who has made or assented to the alteration, and subsequent indorsers ; but where a date has been altered and the alteration is not apparent, a holder in due course may avail himself of the bill as if it had not been altered.
A bill bearing a date prior to the date upon the stamp is not invalid, as the above Section (13) permits a bill to be ante-dated. A bill, however, must be stamped before it is drawn.
Where a post-dated bill is discounted, and the acceptor dies or becomes bankrupt before the arrival of the date of the bill, the bill is not invalid by reason only that it is post-dated.
It is not permissible to give a bill or promissory note, undated, for say three months, and after payment of the bill or note, still undated, to issue it again for another three months, and so on. The only date which can be inserted in an undated bill is the true date of issue. A fresh debt requires a new bill or note.
Bills drawn in Russia are generally dated according to the old style (or Julian calendar), and thirteen days require to be added to the date on the bill to bring the date into accordance with the new style (or Gregorian calendar) of this country. The date is often given on Russian bills as, e.g. March 5/18, the first date being that of the old style (U.S.) and the second date that of the new style (N.S.). The currency of such a bill would, in this country. he calculated from March 18. From 1500 to 1900 the difference was twelve days ; from 1900 to 2100 the difference is thirteen days, and so it will remain unless Russia comes into line with other countries as to the calendar.
The dates on bills of exchange and cheques are usually in figures, but they would be quite valid if written in words. In France the date on a cheque is written in words. On transfers, powers of attorney, convey ances, and other important instruments, the date should be in words. (See ANTE-DATED, BILL OF EXCHANGE, POST-DATED.)