The judicial system of India is large and independent. India has federal type judicial system with the Supreme court being the apex court. Its subordinates include all High courts which further comprise of the district courts. It is often said that the court system in India is very slow because it consists of several procedures and trials so that only the culprit gets punishment and not the innocent one. In contrast to that it is also said that “delayed justice is denied justice” and because of the slow process a large number of cases are in pending and act as a burden to the courts. In order to solve these issues, Fast Track Courts (FTCs) were introduced in India.
The Fast Track Courts were established in 2000 to clear long pending sessions and other lower judicial cases. It was initially set up as a time bound program. These courts deal cases under shortened and simplified procedure. The 11th Finance commission had recommended a scheme for the establishment of 1734 Fast Track Courts. They were created with an aim to deal with the judicial backlog.
Even though these courts were set up to address the pending cases but they did not perform their functions. This year at the end of March, there were 581 FTCs operational in the country with 5.9 lakhs pending cases. Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of pending cases. However states such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat had no FTCs. The subordinate courts had the maximum number pending cases.
The high number of cases is due to the high number of vacancies in position for judges. More than 5000 vacancies are there in the subordinate courts.
Another problem in dealing the cases is due to the huge variations of cases. For example some states allocate rape and sexual offence cases to FTCs while other states allocate other matters. Many FTCs lack technological resources to conduct recordings and collect evidences. Delays in processes is due to inadequate staff and IT infrastructure. These Fast Track Courts are administered with little coordination under different judicial bodies. Therefore for the proper functioning of these courts, a proper governing authority has to be established.