NEW DELHI: The law ministry has proposed setting up of 1,800 fast-track courts across the country to speed up disposal of cases pertaining to land acquisition and property disputes besides those involving heinous crimes.
As per the proposal, land acquisition and property cases which have been pending for more than five years will be taken up on priority.
Nearly three lakh cases related to land acquisition and property disputes are pending in various courts across the country and most of these are more than five years old, according to the law ministry data.
These cases relate to land acquisition initiated by the government as well as private bodies for various purposes. "We have also been receiving a huge number of complaints from the public on the delay in disposal of cases related to property, rent and others," said a senior law ministry official.
The ministry has sent a detailed proposal to the 14th finance commission seeking a grant of Rs 4,144 crore for the scheme, said the official, who did not wish to be named.
The commission is expected to submit its final report in October. Besides land and property-related cases, the scheme envisages speedy trial of two other types of cases — heinous crimes such as murder, rape, dacoity, kidnapping, human trafficking and dowry deaths, and civil cases involving senior citizens, women, children, disabled and litigants afflicted with HIV AIDS and other terminal ailments.
The ministry has proposed setting up of fast-track courts for a period of five years from 2015, reasoning that by 2020 the process of doubling of regular courts and other schemes like development of courts will be completed, obviating the need for fast-track courts.
The Supreme Court had in its judgment in April 2012 in Brij Mohan Lal case directed the government to create 10% additional positions of judges in state judicial services. The direction came in the wake of closure of fast track courts set up under the 11th finance commission.
The ministry has said in its proposal that the 1,800 posts of judicial officers to be created in subordinate judiciary as per the Supreme Court direction be utilised for setting up of fast-track courts. The 11th finance commission had recommended setting up of fast-track courts and sanctioned Rs 500 crore of central funds for the purpose.