Sessions courts to try cases of human rights violations

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The State Government on Saturday issued a notification specifying the principal sessions courts or Sessions courts in all the 27 districts as human rights courts to try offences arising out of the violation of human rights.

Announcing the constitution of the human rights courts, the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, H.K. Patil, said that the Government had exercised the powers conferred on it under Section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and acted after taking the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

Asked what made the Government specify that the principal sessions courts or Sessions courts will try the offences, the Minister said this is the standard practice all over the country. He said the Law Department would provide extra staff and other facilities to the principal sessions courts or Sessions courts if the workload becomes heavy. But as of now, the number of such cases is not high.The new courts would also not prove to be a burden on the Finance Department, he said.

Mr. Patil said his department was planning 100 more courts, both judicial magistrate first class and district courts, to cope with the increasing workload. The Law and the Finance departments are discussing the issue.

The Minister expressed happiness that the Government has been able to set up human rights courts at least 12 years after the Human Rights Act came into being.

The scope of human rights was increasing, he said and added that the officials in departments such as Police and Social Welfare would have to be sensitive to human rights.

On the progress made by the fast-track courts, the Minister said they are doing very good work. He said the State Government is waiting for the Union Government to extend financial support to the 90 fast-track courts beyond May, but if it is not forthcoming, the State Government itself will bear the expenditure as these courts are doing a wonderful job. In this connection he renewed his appeal to the Centre to continue providing financial assistance to the State.

On the file clearance drive, Mr. Patil said 17,000 of the 28,146 files, including 7,131 from other departments, were disposed of in 92 days.

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