Chief Justice of India-designate P. Sathasivam favours a special law to combat honour killings.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Saturday, he said: “A special legislation will certainly be a welcome effort as it will help in generating additional protection to the victims. Though the prevailing law punishes the act of homicide, it does not directly punish the members gathering for such purpose.” The stringent provisions of the proposed Bill coupled with those in the IPC would effectively combat honour killings and protect the hapless young couples and their families who are the victims of this social evil.

On steps to reduce pendency of cases in courts, he said: “We can bring down the arrears by creation of separate courts for offences against women and children, special magistrate courts exclusively for Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act cases [already courts have been created – numbers have to be increased], and evening courts and holiday courts for certain types of cases, particularly matrimonial matters.” Also, 5 to 10-year-old cases could be identified and entrusted to one court exclusively and a time frame fixed for completion of pleadings, and argument by counsel.

Asked about lawyers’ demand for setting up regional Benches of the Supreme Court, the CJI-designate said he did not favour it. “The issue came up before the Full Court on seven occasions. It was also discussed twice in the All India Chief Justices Conference. The Full Court of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justices Conference did not favour the same.”

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