Summary trial in cheque bouncing cases will be norm: SC

2 weeks ago 26
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NEW DELHI: Alarmed by inundation of trial courts with more than 31 lakh cheque bouncing cases, the

Supreme Court

on Friday asked the magistrate courts dealing with cases under Section 138 of

Negotiable Instruments Act

to stick to summary trial of such cases and not routinely convert them into lengthy summons cases.
“The high courts are requested to issue practice directions to the magistrates to record reasons before converting trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Act from summary trial to summons trial,” ordered a five judge bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, and Justices L N Rao, B R Gavai, A S Bopanna and S R Bhat.
The constitution bench also recommended to the government to make suitable amendments to the

NI Act

to provide for “one trial against a person for multiple offences under Section 138 of the Act committed within a period of 12 months, notwithstanding the restriction in Section 219 of the

Criminal Procedure Code

.”
The

SC

also said that a magistrate shall conduct inquiry on receipt of complaints under Section 138 of the Act to arrive at sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused, when such accused resides beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

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