Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in a letter dated September 2, 2022, has written to all the Chief Justices of the High Courts for setting up more fast-track Courts for speedy justice.

The Minister has revealed that out of the total target of 1800 FTCs by the State Government a total of 896 FTCs are currently in operation in 28 States/UTs in which 13,18,427 cases are pending. Further, it has also been mentioned that while 88,000 (approx.) monthly cases are registered, case disposal is approximately 35,000 leading to ever-increasing pendency of cases.

In the letter, with respect to FTSCs, the Minister has raised concerns over the increasing number of cases by mentioning that in a month almost 10,000 cases are registered while the disposal is 6,000 (approx.).

Further, it has also been stated that the department of justice started a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) in October 2019 in pursuance to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018, for the expeditious disposal of cases related to Rape and POCSO Act for setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSC) including 389 exclusive POCSO Courts based on the then pendency of cases.

The Minister has further mentioned that at present 731 FTSCs with 412 exclusive POCSO Courts are operational in 28 States/UTs which have disposed of a total of 1,08,702 cases.

While expressing concern over the pendency of cases, the Minister has stated that as on July 2022, the total pendency of Rape and POCSO Act cases is more than 3,28,000 which is an alarming situation.

The Minister has also stated that the budget allocated especially for the FTSC scheme is being underutilized for the reason that the Government is allocating sufficient funds in every year's budget for the scheme and the department of justice and has also been following with the State Governments and High Courts for availing the allocated funds and its timely utilization. However, in many States, the pre-requisite compliances under the Public Fund Management System are not fully complete or partially complete.

Further, the law minister has also remarked that as the safety and security of women, children, as well as other marginalized categories, are of paramount concern, the need for robust functioning of the FTCs and FTSCs is highly imperative.

The Minister has requested the Chief Justices to intervene in the following issues –

"1) In view of the huge pendency of cases, the balance number of FTCs in the respective jurisdiction may be set up with due consultation of the State Government as envisaged in the 14th FC through increased share of fund devolution to States and as urged by the Union Government.

2) As per the centrally sponsored scheme of FTCs, the remaining number of Courts in the respective jurisdiction maybe setup and operationalized on priority basis.

3) To ensure the speedy disposal of cases and prevent creation of backlog, necessary instructions and support maybe given to the Courts concerned and a strict monitoring mechanism may be set up for the timebound disposal of cases by FTCs and FTSCs.

4) Necessary compliances as mandated under PFMS may kindly be ensured for timely availing of the allocated GoI funds for FTSCs."

The Minister has assured the full support of the Department of Justice, Government of India for the fulfillment of common goals for speedy justice delivery to all citizens.