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Bombay High Court wants to know why additional fast track courts for women have not been set up

Thursday, 4 September 2014 - 7:28pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Peeved by Maharashtra government's failure to set up more fast-track courts to deal with the cases related to crimes against women despite Supreme Court's directive, the Bombay High Court today summoned the concerned officer of state's finance department. Division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sonak asked the officer to remain present tomorrow.

The court noted that despite the central government releasing Rs 80 crore for this purpose, additional courts were not set up. The HC was hearing a public interest litigation on the issue. Earlier too the court had rapped the government for lackadaisical attitude in the matter. Parag Vyas, counsel for the Centre, stated that it had already released Rs 80 crore for additional courts.

To this, the Chief Justice asked: "Then why is the state government not creating and appointing additional ten per cent of posts in fast-track courts?" Petitioner Vihar Durve submitted that information obtained under Right To Information showed that 56,011 cases relating to offences against women were pending before the lower courts in the state.

Advocate N Bubna, Durve's lawyer, said despite a High Court order in March 2014, the government had not yet filed an affidavit furnishing details of existing courts and the number of posts of judges in the state.
Durve's petition alleges that the state government's apathy continues despite repeated requests by the High Court, following a 2012 Supreme Court directive. 

Durve said that RTI information showed that government was sitting on the requests by the Bombay High Court to create 10% additional posts in district courts. Since May 2010, the High Court had been in touch with the state on the matter, but the government kept on raising queries, and now the proposal was pending with the finance department, which had sought some more clarifications, he said.

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