Winning Bizness Desk
Mumbai. There seems to be a way for speedy disposal of check bounce cases as the Supreme Court has accepted the recommendation of the Expert Committee on this matter to create special courts across the country. A three-judge bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and S Ravindra Bhat said that special courts under the Negotiable Instruments Act (NI) would be set up in the states of Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, with regard to these states. Reply of 5 High Courts has been sought.
33 lakh cases pending
The Supreme Court has accepted the recommendations of the Special Courts in the check bounce cases of the Expert Committee. For this, reply has been sought from 5 High Courts on the formation of special courts. The committee suggested that special courts should be set up for speedy disposal of check bounce cases. There are over 33 lakh check bounce cases pending across the country. The Special Committee has suggested setting up of Special Pilot Courts in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and UP. At the same time, it has also been suggested to create a national portal for information of summons. The committee was of the opinion that if needed, a retired judicial officer can be appointed for this. According to the Expert Committee, about Rs 127 crore will be spent for the new court and 1826 judicial officers will have to be recruited.
Punishment for check bounce
In any case, if payment is not made even after 15 days notice of check bounce, then there is a provision of punishment. Imprisonment of not more than two years and or fine which may extend to twice the amount, or with both. The Finance Ministry had earlier sought suggestions on decriminalizing check bounce. It was opposed by a large number of business class.
Maharashtra tops in check bounce cases
Maharashtra has the highest number of check bounce cases. After that, comes the number of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and then Uttar Pradesh. It is noteworthy that in the cases related to check bounce, hearing is done under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. According to the law, the check bounce case has to be settled within 6 months. But often in these cases it takes 3-4 years. The Finance Ministry had proposed to convert the cases related to Check Bounce into a civil case, which was shelved after huge protests from the businessmen.