The Supreme Court on Thursday proposed to the Centre the introduction of a temporary law to form an additional court to deal with as many as 35 lakh pending cases of bounced cheques, Bar and Bench reported.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, made the observation while hearing a case it had registered on suo motu basis to find a mechanism to ensure that matters related to bounced cheques are adjudicated expeditiously.

The bench told the Centre that has the power under Article 247 of the Constitution, coupled with the duty to establish additional courts, to deal with bounced cheque cases under provisions of Negotiable Instruments Act, PTI reported.

Article 247 gives power to Parliament to establish certain additional courts for the better administration of laws made by it or of any existing laws under the Union List.

“The pendency that is rising due to NI Act is grotesque,” Bobde said during the hearing. “You can make a temporary law so that you say these courts exist for a particular period of time. You can appoint retired judges or experts.”

The court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the Negotiable Instruments Act contributes to about 30% of the pending cases in the judicial system, PTI reported. It also suggested that the Centre can appoint retired judges or any experts on the subject to deal with such cases.

Mehta, representing the Centre, referred to the court’s suggestion as a “welcome move”, but added that there was need for a “wider discussion” on the matter, Bar and Bench reported.

To this, the court granted him time till March 10 to make an an official statement about the proposed law and which judges could be appointed to the proposed committee.

The court also proposed whether the intimation that a cheque has bounced can have details of the drawer of the cheque, for purpose of serving the summons to people related to the cases, according to Bar and Bench.

However, the counsel representing banks said that those details cannot be disclosed without an order from the court. To this, the Supreme Court assured that orders will be passed in that regard.