iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Mohan K Korappath, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 15, 2013
Legal experts said certain changes in infrastructure and sensitisation on the issue of crimes against women will help bring down the number of pending cases. Advocate Jamshed Mistry said a main concern was the absence of a time frame to decide cases of crimes against women, even if these cases were brought to a fast track court.

“There are ways to reduce pending cases, whether it is through fast track courts or by giving shorter adjournments,” Mistry said.

According to Mistry, when the case is before a fast track court, it should be decided within a reasonable period of time as it is a sensitive matter and chances of witnesses turning hostile or not coming forward are high.

Former acting chief justice of the Bombay high court, V G Palshikar stressed on the need to sensitise judges in such cases.

“Judges must be made aware of the social requirements in cases of crimes against women as women are hesitant to depose in court,” he said.

Palshikar pointed out that the government of India used to finance fast track courts but has now discontinued it.

“Maharashtra is one state where the state bears the expense to set up and run these courts,” said justice Palshikar adding that some courts that exist currently could be reserved to hear cases of crimes against women.

“In certain western countries they have appointed ad-hoc judges for a certain period of time to dispose-off such cases,” justice Palshikar pointed out.

In India, however, such cases take anywhere between six months and two years to be disposed of.