Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) Maharashtra will soon get 180 more judges to help set up more fast-track courts and speed up the process of justice delivery, Union Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar said here Wednesday.
The minister said the central government had initiated several new measures to speed up the judicial process and assured all help to state governments.
"Maharashtra has planned 100 fast track courts of which 65 are already operational. It has also decided to set up 16 special courts to try cases relating to violence against women," Ashwani Kumar told mediapersons, after reviewing the progress of judicial reforms.
He said that the central government sanctioned 10 percent of the existing strength of judges as additional posts in the subordinate judiciary. The expenditure for the same would be shared equally between by the state and central government.
Surprised over the low conviction rate in the state, Ashwani Kumar said a joint study by the state and central government would be commissioned soon to get to the root of the problem.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the pending cases in the state had reduced from around four million to three million.
Stressing the need to provide quick and affordable justice to the common man at the doorstep, Ashwani Kumar said gram nyayalayas were being established at the panchayat level.
"The gram nyayalayas are located at the sub-taluka levels with a great potential to provide speedy justice to the people in rural areas. Ten such gram nyayalayas have already come up in Maharashtra, and 15 more will be set up soon," the minister said.
He said his ministry had prepared a cabinet note on the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill which would be put up for the consideration soon.
If implemented, it would greatly help ensure speedy appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, he said.