Expressing its displeasure at the state’s continuing failure to create additional judicial posts to hear cases of crimes against women, the Bombay high court directed a senior officer of the finance department to be present in court on Friday.
The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice MS Sonak was on Thursday hearing a PIL seeking directions to the state to set up an adequate number of fast-track courts to deal with crimes against women. The PIL points to the growing backlog of such cases.
Central government counsel Parag Vyas informed the bench that the Centre had already set aside Rs. 80 crore for the creation of additional posts. “It is unfortunate that in spite of the stand of the central government agreeing to provide funds for 10% additional posts of judges, till date, the state government has not created 10% additional posts of judges,” said the order.
The Supreme Court had, in 2012, ordered the increase in judicial posts and the continuation of funding to the fast-track courts scheme.
The HC had earlier come down hard on the state for failing to abide by the SC order. At a hearing in March, the court asked the state to file its reply on the implementation of the scheme. In June, it gave the state two weeks’ time.
“Two months have passed, [but] there is no action, no affidavit, no will of the state,” said N Bubna, counsel for the petitioner, activist Vihar Durve.
He submitted fresh data to show the rising backlog of cases of crimes against women. Until June 30 this year, there were more than 56,000 such cases pending in lower courts across the state, according to the data.