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Cheque bounce cases: Supreme Court directs setting up of five pilot courts to reduce pendency

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The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the establishment of 5 pilot courts to reduce the pendency of cheque bounce cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, accepting the suggestion made by the Amicus and Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra in the suo motu cognizance of the issue relating to the expeditious trial of cheque bounce cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act.

A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, B.R. Gavai and S. Ravindra Bhat directed that the above-mentioned pilot courts will be presided over by retired judges, in 5 districts with the highest pendency in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

“We have incorporated the suggestions of the Amicus with respect to the setting up of the pilot courts and we have given the timelines also. It is to begin on 01.09.2022 onwards. The Secretary General of this court shall ensure that a copy of the present order is directly communicated to the Registrar General of the said 5 High Courts, who should put it before the CJs for immediate action. Compliance report to be filed on or before 21.07.2022. List on 26.07.2022 to review further proceedings,” read Justice Bhat’s order.

“It is thus suggested that the High Courts must employ the services of retired judicial officers for this purpose. The human resources required to operationalise these courts basis in 5 judicial districts with the highest pendency in the 5 states with the highest pendency (namely, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh) and the viability of utilising services of retired judicial officers can be examined based on the result of the pilot study.”

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