To make sure speedy disposal of greater than 35 lakh cheque bounce circumstances pending in numerous courts, the Supreme Court docket on Friday gave plenty of instructions, together with asking the federal government to amend the legal guidelines to permit clubbing of a number of trials in circumstances filed for a identical transaction towards anybody.
To keep away from multiplicity of proceedings and to cut back the burden on the docket of the felony courts, a five-judge Structure Bench led by Chief Justice S A Bobde really useful that “appropriate amendments” be made within the Negotiable Devices Act for provision of 1 trial towards an individual for a number of offences beneath Part 138 dedicated inside a interval of 12 months.
Of the two.31 crore pending felony circumstances, 35.16 lakh relate to dishonoured cheques. The rationale for the backlog of circumstances, in line with amici curiae, is that whereas there’s a regular improve in complaints yearly, the speed of disposal doesn’t match the speed of establishment of complaints.
The SC stated that through the years, courts have been inundated with cheque bounce complaints which couldn’t be determined inside an inexpensive interval and “this gargantuan pendency of complaints … has had an antagonistic impact in disposal of different felony circumstances.”
Stating that undue delay in service of summons is the principle trigger for the disproportionate accumulation of complaints beneath Part 138 earlier than the courts, the judges requested the excessive courts to difficulty observe instructions to the trial courts to deal with service of summons in a single criticism pertaining to a transaction as deemed service for all complaints filed earlier than the identical courtroom referring to dishonour of cheques issued as a part of the transaction.
It directed that the HCs could difficulty observe instructions to the magistrates to report cogent and ample causes earlier than changing abstract trial to summons trial in train of energy beneath the second proviso to Part 143 of the Act. Even the examination of witnesses ought to be permitted on affidavit and solely in distinctive circumstances, the Justice of the Peace could study the witnesses personally, it stated.
On March 5 final 12 months, the highest courtroom had registered a suo motu case and determined to evolve a concerted and coordinated mechanism for quick disposal of such circumstances. It had appointed senior advocate Siddharth Luthra and advocate Ok Parameshwar as amici curiae.
The SC had sought the Centre’s view on creating extra courts to cope with cheque bounce circumstances. Nevertheless, the Centre, by way of the Division of Monetary Companies (DFS), had dismissed the suggestion. As an alternative of organising extra particular courts, the DFS had steered measures like capping the utmost variety of hearings.