Delhi High Court Chief Justice D. Murugesan on Monday said five fast-track courts for which approval had been given, to deal with sexual assault cases, would become operational in the first week of January 2013.

Justice Murugesan gave this assurance when Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit called on him and requested that the fast-track courts be set up immediately, considering the prevailing situation in the capital.

Justice Murugesan informed Ms. Dikshit that steps had already been taken to make the fast-track courts functional and they would be inaugurated after the winter vacation, government sources told The Hindu. Ms. Dikshit apprised him of the health of the December 16 gang rape victim and the treatment being given to her at Safdarjung Hospital.Earlier, Justice Murugesan , who attended the swearing-in of three Supreme Court judges, in an informal interaction with The Hindu said: “The rape incident is really shocking. That is why we [High Court] took suo motu cognisance and decided to monitor the investigation… We have called for a status report from police at the next hearing on January 9, 2013.”

About the feasibility of day-to-day hearing, he said: “The Administrative Committee [of the High Court] has issued directions to all additional sessions judges in Delhi that cases of sexual assault should be tried on a day-to-day basis from the date of commencement of trial. This gang rape [case] will also be conducted on a day-to-day basis to ensure speedy trial.”

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