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Fast Track Courts trying high-profile graft cases down to 815 since 2000: RTI

The number of functional Fast Track Courts hearing corruption cases against politicians has come down to almost half at 815 since 2000, an RTI query has revealed.

According to figures furnished by the Ministry of Law and Justice (GOI), in response to a RTI query by Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali, a total of 1734 FTCs were approved to be set up across 29 states in 2000 of which only 1562 were found to be functional by March 2005.

However, this figure of functional FCTs came down to 1192 in March 2011. This further dipped to 815 in 2014 as per the latest statistics.

Only 815 FTCs were functioning from December 2010 to April 2014, it said.

Galgali had sought information from the PMO with relevant documents in this regard to know the number of functional FTCs which hears cases of corruption involving politicians.

In reply, Prashant Kumar, First Appellate Authority said the PMO has not given any further instruction of setting up such courts in states as it is done on the behest of state governments and High Courts.

According to the figures provided, Bihar tops the list of states with 179 functional FTCs; Maharashtra comes second with 92 fast track courts. Only Delhi and Kerala have reversed the trend, with Delhi adding 10 new fast track courts and Kerala adding seven, taking its total from 31 in 2005 to 38 courts in 2014.

Gujarat closed down 63 fast track courts and its figure decreased from 166 in 2005 to 61 in February 2011.

Statistics say that out of 85 FTCs in the state, Madhya Pradesh had 84 functional FTCs in December 2010, while West Bengal had 77 FTCs working in August 2014 despite the fact that 119 FTCs were functional in 2005.

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