In a bid to grant opportunities post retirement, the Bombay High Court administration has invited applications from retired judges to preside over the fast track courts in Maharashtra. The notice inviting applications has been put up on the HC website. These retired judges would preside over the fast track courts and decide the pending cases of rape, atrocities against women and even those filed under the special laws, such as the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
As per the notification issued by the registrar (legal and research), at least seven such courts are presently dysfunctional with no judges to decide the pending cases. Thus, retired district additional sessions judges have been asked to step in and help reduce the backlog.
The applications have been invited for the fast track courts situated in Chandrapur, Jalna, Kolhapur, Nashik, Parbhani and Yavatmal districts.
According to the data flashed on the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), around 67,083 cases pertaining to women alone are pending in all these seven districts. The numbers constitute around nine per cent of the total 7,75,993 cases pending in these districts.
Notably, this isn't for the first time that retired judges have been recruited to preside over these fast track courts. "I think, presently, there are around 30 retired judges presiding over such courts across Maharashtra," said a registrar, who didn't wish to be named.
It would not be out of place to mention that the Union Law Ministry along with the Home Ministry and the state government had last year decided to increase the number of such courts. Accordingly, 138 more courts have been proposed to be established in the state to increase the present strength of around 77 such courts.
The recruitment of these retired judges would be only for a year. However, only those retired would be considered and not the ones who have voluntarily retired or been dismissed from services.