Cheque bounce: Supreme Court said that if individual check bounce cases are brought against a person in a year for single transaction, then he should be clubbed.
This suggestion to reduce the burden on criminal courts.
The Supreme Court on Friday issued a number of directions for the early disposal of check bounce cases and asked the Center to amend the law to make such provisions that if more than one case against a single person in a year If registered, such cases can be heard together. The top court took cognizance of the huge number of pending check bounce cases in March last year. On December 31, 2019, the total number of such cases involving check bounce was 35.16 lakhs in total of 2.31 crore criminal cases pending in the country.
A constitution bench of five judges headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took steps to ‘reduce the burden on criminal courts’ in a common order. The Bench asked the High Courts to issue ‘procedural directions’ to the magistrates hearing the cases of dishonor of the checks and that they should issue summons to the complainants under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act by issuing summons instead of immediate hearing. Please enter the reason for your decision on the court record. Under the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC), if the accused does not admit his guilt in the summary hearing, the magistrate can file the evidence and pronounce the verdict immediately. But in the process of hearing summons issued by CRPC, the judicial officer will have to complete the proceedings and record the evidence.
Permission to take evidence on affidavit before calling the accused
The Court took note of the suggestion that appropriate amendments could be made by the Center in the check bounce law so that ‘plurality of proceedings’ could be avoided where checks were issued for the same purpose. Chief Justice Justice Bobde, while writing a 27-page order on behalf of the Bench, said that investigation will be conducted on receipt of complaints under Section 138 of the Act so that such simultaneous action shall be taken against the accused who remain outside the geographical range of judicial authority of the trial court Adequate grounds for action can be decided. The order states that evidence of witnesses will be allowed to be taken on affidavit on behalf of the complainant for conducting the investigation before calling the accused and ‘record the testimony of magistrate witnesses in appropriate cases. Without insisting on doing so, you can confine the investigation to the scrutiny of documents.
The committee headed by RC Chavan will consider further
The court has directed the trial courts to issue such procedure-related instructions under which a summons issued in connection with the hearing of a complaint under section 138 against a person before that court for all such cases against him. To be considered. The bench has said that in its Friday decision, the issues related to the check bounce that remain, will be considered by a committee headed by former Mumbai High Court judge Justice RC Chavan. This committee was formed by the court on 10 March.
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