Centre asks states to speed up setting of special CBI courts

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) With tackling corruption highon its agenda, the Centre has written to all the ChiefMinisters urging them to fast track the setting up andoperationalisation of special courts in their states to trycases of corruption being investigated by the CBI.

Against the backdrop of corruption becoming a point ofconfrontation between the opposition and the government, LawMinister M Veerappa Moily has written to all the ChiefMinisters drawing their attention to the Prime Minister''sannouncement to set up 71 special courts.

While the courts will be financed by the Centre, thestate governments have to ensure appointment of magistratesfor the same. The states will also have to inform where suchcourts need to be set up.

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

"I urge your personal attention in the matter ofexpeditious setting up and operationalisation of additionalspecial courts for trial of corruption cases investigated byCBI in your state," states the letter written by Moily.

In a similar letter to Chief Justices of the 21 HighCourts, the Law Minister has pointed out that "concern isgrowing about cases involving corruption" and that thegovernment was keen to "fast track decision in such cases".

"As one of the initiatives in this direction, thecentral government has decided to set up 71 special courts fortrial of CBI cases...in this scenario, I would like to havethe benefit of your views with regard to the adequacy of thenumber of courts, pendency issues, procedural issues thatimpede fast delivery of judgements," the letter states.

The Law Ministry has also sought suggestions from theChief Justices for fast tracking of cases related tocorruption.

The Prime Minister''s Office had recently written tothe Law Ministry asking it to expedite the setting up of CBIcourts.

The Ministry has informed the PMO that it has alreadywritten to the CMs and Chief Justices to do the needful tohelp the Centre come up with additional courts to try cases ofcorruption being probed by the CBI.

The need to fast-track corruption cases was raised byCongress president Sonia Gandhi during the party''s plenarysession in Delhi last December, following which a nine-membergroup of ministers (GoM) headed by Finance minister PranabMukherjee was set up last month which included fast-trackingof all corruption cases in its set of recommendations for theUnion Cabinet.

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