Delays in probing the graft cases by investigating agencies is one of the major reasons for cases of corruption remaining pending for many years, chief justices of high courts have told the government.
The views of the chief justices of 21 high courts on how to put these cases on a fast track have been communicated to the cabinet secretary and the Prime Minister’s Office by the law ministry’s department of justice.
The chief justices' response came in reply to a letter by the law minister M Veerappa Moily, who had sought their views on how to decide corruption cases pending in courts within a year.
“The government wants to monitor cases of corruption pending in high courts and below, so these can be decided within a limited time frame,” the minister wrote in January this year.
In their response, the chief justices have given eight major points, which would help in deciding the corruption cases quickly.
“There is delay in the stage of investigation itself since the agencies do not follow scientific methods to probe and do not make use of digital technology,” states the judges response.
“Wherever the ramifications of the crime is transnational/ interstate/ interdepartmental, the introduction of video conferencing facility for examination of witnesses would be of great help in speedy disposal of cases,” the judges suggested.
The chief justices have asked the government to implement measures like issuing directives to the district and sessions judges to provide the government law officers at the district- level to provide a list of witnesses in graft cases a month in advance.
“This would make it binding on the government to ensure the availability of the witness on the scheduled dates of hearing,” the judges pointed out.
The entire move followed the setting up of a nine-member group of ministers (GoM) to tackle corruption, by the Prime Minister, earlier this year.
The GoM has decided to revisit 2,400 CBI cases pending in trial courts for more than 10 years to identify cases that are unlikely to end in a conviction and should be withdrawn.