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The union law ministry has approached the finance ministry for funds to set up special courts to dispose of over 38 lakh cheque-bouncing cases that constitute a major portion of the litigation backlog clogging the judiciary.

Union Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily has written to his colleague, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to consider allocating funds for establishing the special courts in various states to adjudicate cheque-bouncing cases expeditiously, law ministry spokesperson Vijaya Laxmi said.

She, however, refused to quantify the funds asked for.

An official statement released Wednesday night said that Moily “stressed upon the need for setting up of special courts to deal with surmounting cases under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act”.

The law minister sought funds for setting up special courts saying that “pendency of large number of cheque-bouncing cases tarnish the image of the country’s business environment”.

“Cases relating to dishonoured cheques affect business within and outside the country. The cheque-bouncing cases need to be speedily disposed of through this measure, lest litigants may lose faith in the judicial system. Speedy disposal of such cases would instil confidence,” the statement said.

The bouncing of a cheque is a criminal offence under the Negotiable Instruments Act, which is a central law.

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