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Home ministry tells states to set up terror courts

September 14, 2008 11:50 IST

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With proceedings in most terrorism-related cases moving at a snail's pace, the Union home ministry has asked states to set up exclusive or separate courts to deal with them.

The idea is to ensure that fast track trials take place in such cases, home ministry sources said.

They said the state governments could set up such courts in consultation with the respective high courts.

The effort assumes significance against the backdrop of some major terror attack cases like the Samjhauta Express explosion and the Varanasi Sankatmochan temple blast pending before various courts for long periods.

Sources said the state governments may take up with the high courts the issue of speedy trials of such cases.

Trials of such cases would ensure speedy and fair justice. But, for that, state governments would be required to strengthen their prosecution and law and order agencies, particularly those that specially deal with investigation of terrorism related crimes, they said.

Sources said 2.92 crore cases were pending in various courts in the country as on December 31 last year. Of these, 2.54 crore cases were lying before district and subordinate courts. While 1.81 crore were criminal cases, 73 lakh were civil cases.

Concerned over the huge pendency of cases, fast track courts were established and it has been decided to continue the scheme up to March 31, 2010.

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