SC wants system for more CBI courts to fast track graft cases

In order to keep the common man's faith in the justice delivery system, there must be a self-activating mechanism to create additional special CBI courts as soon as the pendency of corruption cases reaches an alarming number.

The Supreme Court has mooted this idea and sought the Centre's response over it, while observing that such a system could help decisions come in most of the corruption cases within six months.

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya said the government must work on such an idea where concerns over pendency of corruption cases are addressed efficaciously by adding more courts, with adequate infrastructure. "We must have a mechanism so that no court ever has to pass directives. Whenever pendency of cases reaches a certain limit, system must work automatically to create more courts and infrastructure so that most of the corruption cases are decided within six months. We would want such a mechanism as and when there is substantial increase in the number of cases, infrastructure is automatically put in place," said the Bench last week.

It asked Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra to consider this suggestion and get necessary instructions. "The objective is very simple: expeditious decisions in cases of is very essential to maintain common man's faith in the special courts and the CBI," the Bench observed. The ASG assured the Bench that he would obtain proper instructions on it.

The Bench also asked Luthra to specify a time-frame for setting up 18 additional courts as per the DoPT's own assessment. The DoPT, in its affidavit, had informed that a total of 7,023 corruption cases were currently pending in the country and it required 140 courts to handle them. At present, 122 special courts are functional.

"Why is there a delay in setting up the additional 18 courts? Has the CBI sent a proposal to the DoPT? Please consult the DoPT and tell us by when these courts will be set up," said the Bench. Fixing the matter for next week, it further asked the ASG to get instructions on filling up the vacant posts in the CBI, particularly for SP and DSP rank officers.

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