With over 61,000 cases, Tata Motors is the top litigant, having filed the largest number of cheque-bouncing cases in the city. At one court in Dadar, it has around 26,000 cases pending, revealed a survey carried out by a three-member committee appointed by the Bombay high court. HDFC bank came a distant second with 13,062 cases.
Banks and financial institutions dominate the report on the list of companies that have filed cases after cheques issued to them were returned unpaid. They are followed by telecom companies like Vodafone, Bharti and Reliance Communications. Collectively, the companies have paid just over Rs 9 crore as court fees.
The three-member committee, however, says an increase in court fees is in order given the fact that complaints, involving cheques running into crores, are filed by paying minimum court fees. According to advocate Vivek Khemka, the court fee applicable for filing a cheque-bouncing case is one per cent of the disputed amount, subject to a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh. The panel has recommended that the court fees should be on a par with civil cases -10% of the amount involved, subject to a maximum of Rs 3 lakh. The committee has also suggested a refund of court fees if the parties settle the matter. The courts should also verify the tenability of a complaint when the case involves post-dated cheques.