Speed up establishing fast-track courts: Law minister Kiren Rijiju to chief justices of high courts

NEW DELHI: Law minister Kiren Rijiju has written to the chief justices of the high courts to accelerate the process of setting up fast-track courts and fast-track special courts in their respective states to hear cases of heinous crimes against women, children and senior citizens.
In the letter, the minister noted that of the 1,800 Fast-Track Courts (FTCs) recommended by the 14th Finance Commission, only 896 were functional as of July 31 and more than 13.18 lakh cases were pending in these courts.
In the case of the Fast-Track Special Courts (FTSCs) set up under a centrally-sponsored scheme for hearing rape and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act cases, he noted that of the 1,023 courts sanctioned, 731 were operational as of July 31 across 28 states and Union territories.
The minister highlighted that more than 3.28 lakh cases were pending in the FTSCs, which was “an alarming situation”.
Rijiju’s letter to the chief justices of the high courts came after a thorough review of the FTCs and FTSCs by the law ministry.
“In view of the huge pendency of cases, the balance number of FTCs in your respective jurisdiction may be set up with due consultation of the state government as envisaged in the 14th FC through increased share of fund devolution to states and as urged by the Union government,” the minister said in the letter dated September 2.
“As per the centrally sponsored scheme of FTSCs, the remaining number of courts in your respective jurisdiction may be set up and operationalised on a priority basis,” he said.
The law minister also urged the chief justices to give necessary instructions and support to the courts concerned to ensure a speedy disposal of cases and prevent the creation of a backlog.
He also suggested that they set up a strict monitoring mechanism for a time-bound disposal of cases by the FTCs and the FTSCs.
“As the safety and security of our women, children as well as other marginalised categories are of paramount concern, the need for robust functioning of the earmarked FTCs and FTSCs becomes highly imperative,” Rijiju said.

Source link