The Supreme Court of India on 1 August 2014 directed the Union Government to come up with a proposal to fast-track the Criminal justice delivery system in the country. The government needs to submit its proposal within a month and in consultation with states. The observation came by a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice RM Lodha that comprised Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton F Nariman.
The apex court asked for the proposal after observing that the pace of criminal justice system is not satisfactory in the country. It said that there is a need to fast-track the cases. While asking the government to improve judicial infrastructure after consulting state government, the Chief Justice of India R M Lodha said he has his own limitations and cannot set up new courts.
The bench also asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to seek instructions from government if there is any policy on anvil to speed up the trials and if not, to formulate such a policy.
The court asked for the proposal while hearing a PIL related to repatriation of Pakistani prisoners who have either served their jail terms or are waiting conclusion of their trails.
Pending cases in India
• Cases in Supreme Court – 60000
• Cases in High Courts – about 44 lakh
• Cases in the Lower Courts – 2.68 lakh
On the other hand, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India recently claimed that the politics should be clean and asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to work out a mechanism to settle criminal and other court cases against politicians within a year. He wants that there should be no space for criminals in the Parliament. He also said that Supreme Court will be requested to take up such cases on a fast-track basis.
At present about 2000 cases against politicians of India are pending the Courts.
However, the court termed that politicians should not be kept in a special category as there are several categories like women and senior citizens where criminal trail needs to be expedited.
When: on 1 August 2014