New Delhi, Apr 16 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today issued various directions to the High Courts and other courts the procedures to be adopted to accelerate the disposal of cheque bounce cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act across India.
The five-judge Constitution Bench directed all courts across the country to follow directions that range from immediate commencement of inquiry after complaints to procedures of evidence collection and instruction to High Courts to issue practice directions for Magistrates.
The directions issued by the five-judge Bench- headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai, Shripathi Ravindra Bhat, AS Bopanna and L Nageswara Rao are as follows-
The directions issued by the bench are as follows-
1. High Courts requested to issue practice directions for the Magistrates to convert the trials.
2. Inquiry shall be conducted when a complaint is received, without any delay if the accused is out of the jurisdiction of the Court.
3. Amendment for a trial in a case of several offenses by one person under Section 138 of the NI Act.
4. Evidence has to be on affidavit for examination in conduct of inquiry under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
5. There is no inherent power to the Trial Court to review summons;
6. Amendment to empower the Trial Court to recall and re-examine summons to be considered by the Committee;
7. Section 258 Cr.PC not applicable to the complaints under Section of the NI Act; and
8. Recommendations and Suggestions submitted by the Amicus Curiae to be considered by the Committee.
Earlier the bench had constituted a committee headed by Justice (Retd) R.C. Chauhan, directing them to submit its suggestion detailing the steps to be taken after considering all the submissions made by stakeholders, within three-months.
The court, while referring the matter to a three-Judge bench for further follow-up, appreciated the work and contribution made by Amicus Curiae, Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra and Advocate K Parameshwar. The bench listed the matter for further hearing after eight weeks. ILNS/GM-KR/SJB/RJ