SC seeks clarity on fast track courts

New Delhi, March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government whether it intended to continue with the functioning of 1,734 fast track courts operating across the country in the absence of non-allocation of funds.

A bench comprising Justice SB Sinha and Justice SH Kapadia told Solicitor General GE Vahanvati that the court was kept under the impression that the fast track courts would be continued for another five years.

Mr Vahanvati told the apex court that he would discuss the matter with finance minister P Chidambaram and would get back to the court within two days.

Conceived by former law minister Arun Jaitley, FTCs were constituted in April 2001 with much fanfare in the wake of huge backlog of over 2.5 crore cases throughout the country. Out of 12.58 lakh transferred cases, the courts had disposed of 6,07,262 cases till December 31, 2004.

The 11th Finance Commission had provided around Rs 503 crore for setting up of 1,734 FTCs to dispose of long-pending criminal matters.

However, in the absence of any financial sanctions from the 12th Finance Commission, the FTCs would cease to function from April 1, this year.

West Bengal is set to lose its 152 fast track courts while in Bihar 183 courts would stop functioning.