As the lower courts register a hike in number of cases, the Niti Aayog has come out with a novel idea to take the load off subordinate judiciary — set up special courts solely to deal with traffic challans where offenders do not have to turn up before judges to pay fines. The Niti Aayog has taken a cue from a July, 2014 Law Commission report which had recommended appointment of law graduates to preside over special traffic courts. In its report submitted to the law ministry, the panel had said if law graduates preside over special traffic courts, judges in the lower judiciary can take care of other pressing cases.
In its ‘Three Year Action Agenda–2017-18 to 2019-20’, released by Finance Minister Arun Jatiley here on Thursday, the government policy body said since traffic and police challan cases constituted 37.4 per cent of the total number of cases during the three-year period examined by the law panel, special courts can be dedicated to these offences.
“Consideration may also be given to waiving the requirement that offenders must come to court to pay their fine,” it said. The Law Commission had made a similar recommendation in the report. It had said that facilities should be made available for online payment of fines as well as payment at designated counters in the court complex to reduce pendency of cases. The number of cases in lower courts have risen from 2.64 crore in 2014 to 2.74 crore in 2016 due to increase in filing of cases, the law ministry has said. While the total strength of lower courts is around 21,000, the vacancies have been pegged at 4,937.