New Delhi: The Centre has urged chief justices of high courts to set up fast track courts to deal with pending rape cases and monitor their progress.
Since setting up of fast track courts is the responsibility of the state government, the Centre has also urged the chief ministers to provide financial support to the high courts for the purpose.
In a letter to the Chief Justices of the 24 high courts, the Centre has requested them to constitute fast track courts for speedy trial of pending rape cases in district and subordinate courts having a high pendency of such cases. They have also been requested to monitor the progress of these cases.
The Law Ministry has also drawn the attention of the high court chief justices to the use of provisions under CrPC dealing with day-to-day basis proceedings.
They have been requested to impress upon the district judges to scrupulously adhere to these provisions in trial of cases involving heinous crimes such as rape and to conduct trials without adjournment as far as possible.
Sections 157, 309 and 327 of the CrPC deal with examination of witnesses on a day-to-day basis, keeping adjournment at a bare minimum, expediting trial of cases involving heinous crimes such as rape and holding on in camera proceedings.
There are nearly 15,000 subordinate courts and 968 fast track courts in various states of the country.
Central funding to states for FTCs, established under the 11th Finance Commission Award, was discontinued with effect from April 1, 2011. But some states have continued FTCs beyond 2011 with their own resources.
The issue of running FTCs beyond 2011 came up for discussion at the conference of chief ministers and chief justices in April, 2013.
The meeting, convened by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, had resolved that the state governments will take necessary steps to establish sufficient FTCs relating to offences against women, children, differently-abled persons, senior citizens and marginalised sections of the society, and provide adequate funds for the purpose of creating and continuing them.