Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to the Chief Justices of all High Courts of the country, stressing on efficient and speedy trials in fast-track courts (FTC) and fast-track special courts (FTSC), highlighting on the safety and security of women, children and citizens belonging to the marginalised communities.
Highlighting the pendency of cases in these courts, the Union Minister urged the Chief Justices to personally look into the matter.
Placing on record the Union state-wise analysis of the functioning of FTCs and FTSCs, the Union Minister said that these courts were set-up under a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for expeditious trial of rape and POCSO cases (involving juvenile victims).
Stating that the 14th Finance Commission had recommended setting-up of 1,400 FTCs by the state governments to fast-track criminal cases of heinous crimes, Rijiju said in the letter that till July 31, 2022, only 896 FTCs were established in 24 states/union territories, in which 13,18,427 cases were pending.
He further said that while 88,000 monthly cases were registered, case disposal is approximately 35,000, leading to an ever-increasing pendency of cases.
Talking about the FTSCs, Rijiju said that they were started under the CCS in October 2019, pursuant to Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 for quick disposal of rape and POCSO cases.
As per the Union Minister, the scheme envisaged 1,023 FTCs, including 389 exclusive POCSO courts, only 731 FTCs with 412 exclusive POCSO courts are operational in 28 states and union territories as on July 31, 2022. He said these courts have cumulatively disposed of 1,08,702 cases.
As per Rijiju, around 10,000 new cases were registered every month, while disposal rate was 6,000. Calling it as an alarming situation, the Minister said that currently, 3,28,000 cases were pending.