SC seeks HCs, states' response on speedy trial in cheque bounce cases

1/19/2021

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked various High Courts and states to submit their response in connection with its suo moto case on expeditious trial in cases where cheques have been dishonoured.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde said: "Having regard for the importance of matter and administration of justice in states, we are of view that High Courts through their Registrars General and states through DGPs submit response in four weeks."

The bench, also comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran, said that the court took suo motu cognizance of the matter in March 2020, and there was an order to take steps to reduce high pendency of cases relating to dishonoured cheques.

"Amicus curiae have made submissions and NALSA has submitted a report... the RBI has filed a reply to the preliminary report. (On) October 27, 2020, DGP of states were directed to respond with respect to service of summons. Only 7 DGPs have submitted response. Some High Courts have not filed response," the bench noted.

The observation was made by the top court while hearing its suo motu case on expeditious trial of cheque bounce cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The bench noted that DGPs are required to submit their response for the purpose of serving summons.

In case states don't submit their response, the Registrars General of the High Courts and Directors General of Police of states should remain present in the court with necessary authorisation from their government regarding steps to be taken in the matter, the court said.

The top court also noted that in the last hearing, it had asked various High Courts to take this matter seriously, and out of 25 High Courts, 14 have submitted their respective reports and 11 High Courts have submitted the draft scheme, in connection with speedy disposal and trial of cheque bounce cases.

The amicus curiae in the matter submitted before the court that in case of states, which have not responded since March 2020, interim orders can be passed to see whether they respond in two or three weeks.

Source: IANS

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