SC suggests setting up more courts to resolve cheque bounce cases

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has suggested the establishment of additional courts to resolve the pending cheque bouncing cases. The proposal was made while hearing a suo moto case concerning the pendency of cheque bounce cases which, at present, requires speedy disposal.

The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, and Ravindra Bhat, took up this matter under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

“The pendency that is rising due to NI Act is grotesque. You can make a temporary law so that you say these courts exist for a particular period of time. You can appoint retired judges or experts,” said CJI Bobde.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, Counsel for the Government, stated that on the back of discussions with high level officials about this suggestion of the Court, he felt that “it was a welcome move.”

Mehta has been granted time till March 10 to make an official statement about the proposed law and which judges could be appointed to a committee being formed to devise ways to deal with pending Section 138 cases.

The Court had stated that cheque bounce cases form about 30% to 40% of the total pending cases in the trial courts and the High Courts. It further proposed the setting up of additional courts in this regard.

The Union Finance Ministry, earlier, had not welcomed the suggestion and came up with some alternatives. However, the Court disagreed with the Government’s stand and stated that the Centre has a power coupled with duty for better administration of laws made by the Parliament.

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