SC issues directions to expedite the trial of cases under Section 138 of the NI Act, 1881

In order to tackle around 35 lakh cheque bounce cases dealt with under Section 138 of NI Act, a five judge constitutional bench headed by CJI SA Bobde issued certain set of directions for speedy disposal of cases.

It was suggested that Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, should be amended to allow one trial for multiple cheques in case the parties are same.

It was further recommended a singular trial be conducted against a person with for multiple offenses within a period of 12 months, notwithstanding the restrictions mentioned under Section 219 of the Code of Criminal Procedures. Last month, the Constitution bench formulated a committee headed by former Bombay High Court Judge, Justice RC Chavan to deal with disposal of cheque bouncing cases.

It asked the high courts to issue practice directions to guide the magistrates regarding the reasons to consider before converting  trials of complaints under Section 138 NI Act, 1881, from summary trials to summon trials.

The bench observed the obligations of Central Government to create additional courts to ease the burden created on the judicial system due to the multiple cases.

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