By Our Legal Correspondent
NEW DELHI, MARCH 31. The Supreme Court today said that the Centre and the States had a constitutional obligation to provide speedy justice to undertrials and they could not abdicate their responsibility by abandoning the 1,700 fast track courts abruptly.
Taking a serious view of the threat to the continuance of the FTCs beyond March 31, the court on Wednesday directed the Centre to continue the FTCs across the country till April 30.
Giving reasons for its direction, a Bench, comprising Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice S.H. Kapadia, said the FTCs were started in view of the backlog of 2.27 crore criminal cases pending in various courts. They were implemented as a central scheme with a grant of Rs. 502.9 crores from the 11th Finance Commission in almost all States and there was no complaint so far about their working.
The Bench said the Centre or the States could not abandon the FTCs citing resource crunch because if FTCs were disbanded suddenly it would result in chaos. Considering the fact that Rs. 82.87 crores remained unspent, the Bench directed the Centre to disburse this amount to the States as per the earlier schedule till further orders from the Court.
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