Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily said on Tuesday that the Centre would set up 5,000 village courts in the country in the next four-and-a-half years.

In an informal chat with presspersons here, he said that the village courts would help in disposal of cases pending in subordinate courts. Madhya Pradesh had set up some village courts.

He said that 2.7 crore cases were pending in subordinate courts. When 5,000 village courts started functioning, the number of cases pending in subordinate courts would come down considerably.

Mr. Moily said that the Centre would organise a national consultation on judicial reforms in New Delhi on October 24 and 25. Its focus would be on disposal of cases. Legal experts and functionaries from subordinate courts up to the Supreme Court would take part in it.

Mr. Moily said that a Bill regarding setting up of commercial courts had been sent to the Union Cabinet for approval. The commercial courts would deal with high-value cases. The Bill came up for discussion during the winter session of the Lok Sabha.

The Minister said that the State Government had to quickly prepare estimates regarding relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood-hit areas of north Karnataka.

Otherwise, there would be a delay in the arrival of Central teams to assess the situation in the State, Mr. Moliy said.

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