Centre Banks On Special CBI Courts To Check Corruption

NEW DELHI, Feb 20: With tackling corruption high on its agenda, the Centre has written to all the chief ministers urging them to fast track the setting up and operationalisation of special courts in their states to try cases of corruption being investigated by the CBI.

Against the backdrop of corruption becoming a point of confrontation between the opposition and the government, law minister M Veerappa Moily has written to all the chief ministers drawing their attention to the Prime Minister’s announcement to set up 71 special courts.

While the courts will be financed by the Centre, the state governments have to ensure appointment of magistrates for the same. The states will also have to inform where such courts need to be set up.

Out of 71, so far only 10 CBI courts have been set up though the announcement was made over a year ago.

“I urge your personal attention in the matter of expeditious setting up and operationalisation of additional special courts for trial of corruption cases investigated by CBI in your state,” states the letter written by Moily.

In a similar letter to Chief Justices of the 21 High Courts, the law minister has pointed out that “concern is growing about cases involving corruption” and that the government was keen to “fast track decision in such cases”.

“As one of the initiatives in this direction, the central government has decided to set up 71 special courts for trial of CBI cases…in this scenario, I would like to have the benefit of your views with regard to the adequacy of the number of courts, pendency issues, procedural issues that impede fast delivery of judgments,” the letter states.

The law ministry has also sought suggestions from the Chief Justices for fast tracking of cases related to corruption. The Prime Minister’s Office had recently written to the Law Ministry asking it to expedite the setting up of CBI courts.

The Ministry has informed the PMO that it has already written to the CMs and Chief Justices to do the needful to help the Centre come up with additional courts to try cases of corruption being probed by the CBI.

The need to fast-track corruption cases was raised by Congress president Sonia Gandhi during the party’s plenary session in Delhi last December, following which a nine-member group of ministers (GoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was set up last month which included fast-tracking of all corruption cases in its set of recommendations for the Union Cabinet.

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)

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