1. Thge reasons for return of cheques as found in the website of State Bank of India is given below wherein you will not find the mention of 'signature not verified' as a reason for return of the cheque. There is a reason 'signature differs' for returning the cheque.
CODE NO. REASON FOR RETURN
Effects not cleared, present again.
(04-05) Reference to Drawer
Refer to drawer
Kindly contact Drawer/Drawee Bank and please present again.
Drawer's signature incomplete
Drawer's signature illegible
Drawer's signature differs
Drawer's signature required
Drawer's signature not as per mandate
Drawer's signature to operate account not received
Drawer's authority to operate account not received
Alteration requires drawer's authentication
(20-29) Stop Payment
Payment stopped by drawer
Payment stopped by attachment order
Payment stopped by court order
Withdrawal stopped owing to death of account holder
Withdrawal stopped owing to lunacy of account holder
Withdrawal stopped owing to insolvency of account holder
Instrument post dated
Instrument out dated/stale
Instrument undated/ without proper date
Instrument mutilated; requires Bank's guarantee
Cheque irregularly drawn/ amount in words and figures differs
Clearing House stamp/ date required
Wrongly delivered/ Not drawn on us
Present in proper zone
Instrument contains extraneous matter
Image not clear, present again with paper
Present with document
Item listed twice
Paper not received
Account transferred to another branch
No such account
Title of account required
Title of account wrong/ incomplete
Account blocked (situation covered in 21-25)
Crossed to two banks
Crossing stamp not cancelled
Clearing stamp not cancelled
Instrument specially crossed to another bank
Amount in protective crossing incorrect
Amount in protective crossing required/illegible
Payee's endorsement required
Payee's endorsement irregular / requires collecting bank's confirmation
Endorsement by mark/ thumb impression requires attestation by Magistrate with seal
(70-76) RBI /Government
Advice not received
Amount / Name differs on advice
Drawee bank's fund with sponsor bank insufficient
Payee's separate discharge to bank required
Not payable till 1st proximo
Pay order/ cheque requires counter signature
Required information not legible/ correct
Bank's certificate ambiguous/ incomplete/ required
Draft lost by issuing office/ confirmation required from issuing office
Digital Certificate Validation failure
Other reasons-connectivity failure
Alterations on instrument- Other than "Date" field (Alteration/correction on instruments are prohibited under Cheque Truncation System. Return reason code applicable to instruments presented in CTS)
Fake/Forged/Stolen-draft/cheque/cash order/interest warrant/dividend warrant
‘Payee's a/c credited'- Stamp required
Other reasons (Please specify)
2. The reason mentioned by you as 'signature not verified' is terribly peculiar and unusual. If the signature is not verified, it is the duty of the Bank to veriify it and they can not return the cheque without verifying the signature of the drawer of the cheque.
3. You have mentioned that you have a doubt whether cheque returned with sign not verified is same as cheque dishonoured (cheque bounce). It is surprising that without clarifying your said doubt you have passed judgment that advise to you for initiating cheque dishonour proceeding by sending him the appropriate notice is TERRIBLE.
4. To clear your doubt, I am pasting below a part of RBI circular wherein 'Dishonour / Return of Cheques' has been mentioned as subject.
September 1, 2010
The Chairman and Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer
All Scheduled Commercial Banks including RRBs /
Urban Co-operative Banks / State Co-operative Banks /
District Central Co-operative Banks
Madam / Dear Sir,
Dishonour / Return of Cheques - Need to Mention the 'Date of Return'
in the Cheque Return Memo
5. It is to be understood that when a cheque is returned it is dishonoured and unless 'deposite again' is mentioned in the return memo, the drawee has no recourse with him/her to get the money and as the first step of initiating cheque dishonour proceeding he has to send the drawer appropriate notice to pay by DD and if he fails to comply with the demand of the said notice further action u/s138 of N.I. Act shall have to be followed.
6. However, whether as per your statement Bank has informed 'sign not verified' or 'signature differs' and returned the cheque, it is a case of dishonour of the cheque for which you are required to send the drawer a demand notice as the first step of initiating cheque dishonour proceeding.
7. You shall have to argue before the Court during the proceeding of the cheque dishonour case that the drawee has filled up the amount by his own hand but you shall also have to prove that he has signed the cheque.
8. During the proceeding the drawer may submit that he had filled up the cheque for issuing to some one else but did not sign it which you have filled up and faked his signature thereupon which you shall have to counter.
9. If by any chance he can prove that someone has faked his signature (forensic test can detect even the type of handwriting of the person who has faked the signature and can trace him out) then the person who has faked his signature will be prosecuted by law.