Bhubaneswar: BJD leader Baijayant Panda has sought immediate steps to fast-track cases of crime against women and those involving criminal charges against elected representatives for which number of judges must be increased and infrastructure strengthened.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Lok Sabha member from Kendrapara in Odidha sought to highlight the deep rooted flaws in the system that have been brought into focus after the incident of gangrape leading to the death of a young woman in Delhi.
Panda said the incident brought to light the regressive attitudes in society, the efficacy of the police and the over-worked judiciary.
In his letter, Panda highlighted the crisis facing the judiciary and said judges per million population in India stands at 13, compared to 100 in developed countries. Despite the Law Commission’s recommendation in 1987 to raise it immediately to 50, and to 100 by the year 2000, it still remains abysmally low, he said.
Owing to this, more than 30 million cases remain pending at all levels of judiciary,’about 3 million of them for over a decade, Panda said, adding the system of fast-track courts that was first set up based on the recommendations of the 11th Finance Commission worked efficiently and disposed of 85 per cent of the cases assigned to them.
However, despite their success the Centre withdrew its support to the scheme and left it to the limited resources of state governments. Given shortage of funds with states, most courts were discontinued.