How many CBI courts you want, SC asks Centre

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre to spell out how many more special CBI courts were required to ensure speedy disposal of trials. The number of pending cases have gone up from 6,000 to 11,000 in the last five years.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya also sought information on how many special posts were required to be created in the CBI’s investigation and prosecution wings in order to complete trial in corruption cases within a year.

The court was hearing a case on a multi-thousand crore high-speed diesel scam in Gujarat, where oil marketing companies allegedly colluded with sales tax officials to divert subsidised fuel in the open market.

It has been monitoring the issue of vacancies in the CBI and creation of special courts to deal with corruption cases since January 27 last year.

The bench said it will consider the question whether it was necessary for the Centre to seek concurrence of state governments or it can act suo motu to establish special courts as provided under Article 247 of the Constitution.

The court referred to a letter from the prime minister to chief ministers of all states in this regard on July 24, 2009, after the erstwhile Chief Justice of India had pointed this out in a letter to the executive head on April 7, 2007.

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