(1) Where an inland bill has been dishonoured it may, if the owner thinks fit, be noted for non-acceptance or non-payment, as the case may be; but it shall not be necessary to note or protest any such bill in order to preserve the recourse against the drawer or indorser.
(2) Where a foreign bill, appearing on the face of it to be such, has been dishonoured by non-acceptance it must be duly protested for non-acceptance, and where such a bill, not having been previously dishonoured by non-acceptance, is dishonoured by non-payment it must be duly protested for non-payment, otherwise the drawer and indorsers are discharged to the extent that they are prejudiced by the omission.
(3) Where a bill does not appear on the face of it to be a foreign bill, protest thereof as in case of dishonour is unnecessary.
(4) A bill that has been protested for non-acceptance may be subsequently protested for non-payment.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Act, where a bill is noted or protested it must be noted on the day of dishonour.
(6) Where a bill has been duly noted, the protest may be subsequently extended so as to take effect from the date of the noting.
(7) Where the acceptor of a bill becomes bankrupt or insolvent or suspends payment before it matures, the holder may cause the bill to be protested for better security against the drawer and indorsers.
(8) A bill must be protested at the place where it is dishonoured:
(a) where a bill is presented through the post office, and returned by post dishonoured, it may be protested at the place to which it is returned and on the day of its return if received during business hours, and if not received during business hours, then not later than the next business day; and
(b) when a bill drawn payable at the place of business or residence of some person other than the drawee has been dishonoured by non-acceptance, it must be protested for non-payment at the place where it is expressed to be payable, and no further presentment for payment to or demand on the drawee is necessary.
(9) A protest must contain a copy of the bill, and must be signed by the notary making it, and must specify—
(b) the place and date of protest, the cause or reason for protesting the bill, the demand made, and the answer given, if any, or the fact that the drawee or acceptor could not be found.
(10) Where a bill is lost or destroyed, or is wrongly detained from the person entitled to hold it, protest may be made on a copy or on written particulars thereof.
(11) Protest is dispensed with by any circumstance that would dispense with notice of dishonour.
(12) Delay in noting or protesting is excused when the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the holder, and not imputable to his default, misconduct, or negligence. When the cause of delay ceases to operate the bill must be noted or protested with reasonable diligence.
Compare: 1883 No 8 s 51
Section 51(2): amended, on 1 January 1980, by section 4(5) of the Bills of Exchange Amendment Act 1979 (1979 No 3).