7 PM Editorial: Special courts in India

Public

Context:

  • In an important decision to put an end to the inordinate delay in the prosecution of politicians and criminal cases, the Centre has recently decided to set up Special Courts to deal with cases exclusively against MP and MLAs, and dispose them within a year.

Introduction:

  • The Centre’s decision will a body blow for politicians who despite facing criminal charges has state in Parliament because of delay in trying them.
  • The Centre decided to set up 17 special courts within a year time frame.

What is special court?

  • A special courtis a court with limited jurisdiction, that deals with a particular field of law rather than a particular territorial jurisdiction.

Benefits of setting special courts in India:

  • To enable quick and efficient disposal of cases.
  • To ensure effective trial and that have powers of district or sessions courts.
  • To deal with tainted lawmakers.
  • To put an end to the inordinate delay in the prosecution of politicians and criminal cases.
  • The issue of tainted lawmakers is important issue because these are law makers which are supposed to frame legislations, lay down policies, and be the leaders

What are the reasons for delay in justice delivery?

  • Judicial Corruption exists because public trials are almost never heard by the public.
  • Lack of accountability breeds corruption.
  • Judicial accountability is as important as accountability of the executive or legislature.
  • Judicial accountability promotes at least three discrete valuesthe rule of lawpublic confidence in the judiciary, and institutional responsibility.
  • The regular evaluation of judicial performance a springboard for ensuring greater judicial accountability, but unfortunately India do not have any institutional mechanism yet to do this.
  • Judges become corrupt when they enjoy absolute power and their strong personal agendas dominates over merit of the case.
  • Corruption in lower courts: India’s judicial corruption is a cancer that begins at the lower levels and inches its way up.
  • According to the Global Corruption Report 2007, the perception of corruption is higher in India and Pakistan in comparison to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In Pakistan, 55 per cent of the respondents said the judiciary was corrupt.
  • Transparency International report released in 2007 showed that 77 % per cent of respondents in a survey in India believe the judiciary is corrupt.
  • Poor quality or complete absence of data remains a major concern .

Loopholes in setting special courts:

  • Lack of infrastructure and facilities for special courts.
  • High rates of pendency and absence of Special courts plagues in several states.
  • The provision of special courts in laws does not match with the backlog and pendency of cases in specific category. For example, There is huge backlog under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act but there is no provision of exclusive courts.
  • There is no criteria which justify provision of special courts in a particular law.
  • Forums like quasi-judicial bodies, tribunals, and commissions were excluded.
  • Setting special courts is not a long term solution.
  • By setting special courts, regular courts will suffer.
  • The objective of special courts has been unclear.
  • It is not very revealing whether specific legislations which provides for special courts necessarily intend quick disposal of cases.

How Special Courts will deal with tainted lawmakers?

The issue of tainted lawmakers is important issue because these are law makers which are supposed to frame legislations, lay down policies and help in achieving the democratic principles. Special courts will deal with tainted lawmakers in following ways:

  • The Centre’s decision will a body blow for politicians who despite facing criminal charges has state in Parliament because of delay in trying them.
  • It will help in quick and efficient disposal of cases.
  • To ensure effective trial and that have powers of district or sessions courts.
  • It will help in put an end to the inordinate delay in the prosecution of politicians and criminal cases.
  • It will exclusively deal with cases against MP and MLAs, and dispose them within a year.
  • Laws enacted in the last three decades have considered special courts as quick remedy for questions of delays in trial.
  • Cases related to corruption, terrorism, sexual offences against children and drug trafficking are dealt with by special courts.

Way ahead:

  • Need to focus on speedy justice delivery system.
  • Commercial courts were also step up to deal with matters of commercial nature. Pre litigations and mediations is also a good solution.
  • Quick and time bound system is required.
  • Robust justice delivery system.

Conclusion

  • The provision to set up special courts is a welcome step we need to make on long term and permanent solution to deal with pendency of cases and for better justice delivery system for a healthy democracy.
  • Although this is a welcome step by the government of India but there are lots of other issues apart from tainted law makers like women’s safety. Special courts cannot take place on the regular dispensation. This is an issue for several years.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Free IAS Preparation by Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to the blog followed by several Rankholders and ensure success in IAS.