NEW DELHI: Over 1,500 fast-track courts operating in various states will continue to get central assistance for another year, the cabinet committee on economic affairs decided on Thursday.
The CCEA, chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, approved the continuation of the scheme of central assistance for FTCs till March 31, 2011, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Ambika Soni told reporters here.
A total of 1,562 FTCs are operating in various states and they would be provided Rs 4.80 lakh each for the fiscal 2010-11. A budgetary provision of Rs 75 crore has been made in the budget for the current fiscal.
Based on the recommendations of the 11th Finance Commission, the finance ministry had sanctioned Rs 502.90 crore to set up 1,734 FTCs to expeditiously dispose of long-pending cases in the sessions courts.
The FTCs were also mandated to look into cases relating to undertrials awaiting disposal of their cases. According to an estimate, there are around three lakh undertrials languishing in 1,500 prisons of the country.
The scheme was for a period of five years beginning 2000. After the expiry of the scheme, government approved continuation of 1,562 FTCs that were operational for another five years — till March 31, 2010 — with a provision of Rs 509 crore.
According to the law ministry, out of 35.02 lakh cases transferred to FTCs since their inception in the year 2000, 28.38 lakh cases have been disposed of so far.
The Union government also approved the amendment of provisions under Section 13 of the Arms Act, 1959, to obviate chances of issuing arms licences to persons whose antecedents are not bona fide and ensure receipt of police verification report within a period of sixty days.
Ms Soni said the new amendment specifies a period of 60 days for the police report required under sub-section (2) of section 13 of the Act.
The time period had earlier not been specifically defined. This could lead to grant of licence to a person whose antecedents were not clear, she added.
The amendment also deleted the proviso to section 13(2A) of the Arms Act, 1959, following which the licensing authority will have to take into consideration the police report before granting an arms licence.
Earlier, section 13(2A) empowered the licensing authority to grant an arms licence where the police report had not been received within the prescribed time.
The cabinet also approved the introduction of the arms (amendment) bill 2010 in Parliament, Ms Soni informed.