New Delhi: The supreme court on Tuesday said that referring cases to larger bench means sending them to “cold storage.”

“Pushing matters for hearing by a larger bench would delay the hearing on them for even a decade and virtually send them to “cold storage” as several major issues have already been referred to such benches”, said the apex court.

A  division bench comprising of justices A K Goel and U U Lalit made the observation while hearing an issue regarding admissibility of uncertified digital records in judicial proceedings as evidence.

“We would have referred this issue to a larger bench. There are verdicts of apex court but as large number of references are made these days, it will take another 10 years for the matter to be heard. This will be like putting the matter in cold storage,” the bench said.

It said that the issue at hand was an important one and needed to be deliberated upon, as growing number of high courts and trial courts were proceeding ahead with the requirement of certificate for digital documents under the Indian Evidence Act.

The apex court issued notice to Attorney General K K Venugopal and sought his assistance in the matter.