Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju writes to Chief Justices of the High Court on creation of more fast-track courts and speedy disposition of cases

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The letter was drafted based on a review of the operating status of existing expedited courts set up by state governments for the trial of cases related to heinous crimes, crimes against women, children, old people, etc. and Fast Track Special Courts set up under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for the speedy trial of rape and POCSO cases.

It is pointed out that the 14th Finance Commission had, with the increased share of decentralization of funds, recommended the establishment of 1,800 fast-track courts by state governments.

However, as of July 31, 2022, it is noted that 896 fast-track courts are operational across the country and 13,18,427 cases are pending before them.

It is said that an analysis has published that while around 88,000 new cases are registered every month, only around 35,000 cases are settled every month.

In 2019, the Ministry of Justice in accordance with the criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2018, launched the CSS for the establishment of 1023 expedited special courts, including 389 exclusive POCSO courts on the basis of pending cases (1.67 lakh as of March 31, 2018).

As of July 31, 2022, 731 of those courts, with 412 exclusive POCSO courts, were operational and settled 1,08,702 cases in total, the letter said.

However, it is pointed out that 10,000 new cases are registered every month while only about 6,000 cases are decided at the same time.

This has led to an ever-increasing wait rate of business.

As of July 2022, the total number of pending rape and POCSO cases is over 328,000, which is an alarming situation.“, reads the letter.

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