Mumbai: Maharashtra will get 180 judicial officers, to help set up more fast track courts, Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said here on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters, Kumar said that the Centre has initiated several new measures to speed up the judicial process and promised all necessary help to state governments.
He said Maharashtra plans 100 fast track courts, out of which 65 are already operational. The state has also decided to set up 16 special courts to try offences against women.
The Centre has sanctioned 10 per cent of the existing strength of judges as additional posts to be created for the subordinate judiciary. These posts will be funded on a sharing basis by the Central and state government, he said.
"To help fill vacancies in fast track courts, 1800 new posts of subordinate judicial officers will be created, out of which 180 posts will be in Maharashtra. Fast track courts have not been able to start functioning due to non-availability of judges," he said, adding that such courts will not only try criminal cases, but also civil cases.
The minister, who reviewed the progress of judicial reforms in Maharashtra, expressed satisfaction on most counts, except utilisation of central funds, which he said, needs to be speeded up.
He said that Maharashtra`s low conviction rate is somewhat "puzzling" and added that a joint study by Central and state governments will be commissioned to ascertain the reasons.
The minister said that the number of pending cases in the state has come down drastically from about 49 lakh in 2010 to 30 lakh in November 2012.