Non – Setting up of special CBI Courts

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over the inaction on the part of certain States to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 2009 letter to set up special CBI courts to try corruption cases and said “The PM’s letter has been thrown in dustbin by these governments.”

A Bench of Justices G.S.Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya was hearing petitions relating to this. Finding that many States were yet to take steps on the PM’s letter, Justice Singhvi observed that the “majority of the cases taken up by the special courts involve public servants. The PM’s letter has been thrown in dustbin by these governments.”

Suprem Court Delhi

Expressing anguish, Justice Singhvi said, “it is most unfortunate scenario that only under possible threat of contempt against Chief Secretary’s action is taken. It is an unfortunate situation. It is for them [Chief Secretaries} to take action and not for this court to take action [on PM’s letter].

The defaulting states on this issue are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Assam and Goa. The Bench after hearing counsel for some of the States and Additional Solicitor General P.P.Malhotra, made it clear that those States which had not set up special courts must set them up within eight weeks and create necessary infra structure.

Once the infra structure had been put in place, the High Courts concerned should take steps to appoint judicial officers, the Bench said and posted the matter for further hearing in January 2012. With this observation of the Supreme Court will the concerned States act swiftly in setting up CBI special courts to reduce the back log of CBI cases ?

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