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Maharashtra may drop old cases to cut pendency
October, 07th 2011

The government may not pursue certain unsolved cases, most of them six years old, involving minor cognizable offences to reduce pendency rates in various courts and ensure faster delivery of justice.

Senior law and judiciary department officials said committees could be appointed at the district and state levels to recommend the cases that would not be challenged, as they have no scope for progress. The panels at both the levels would include current as well as retired judges, the officials added.

A number of the cases involve minor cognizable offences such as the violation of the Bombay Prohibition Act-related to the sale and consumption of liquor-and the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887 as well thefts and robberies. In many of these cases, which were filed by the government in 2005, the police have not been able to arrest and produce the culprits in court. These cases continue to go on even though there has been no progress in the investigation, said an official, adding that pursuing these incidents consequently hamper the progress of other important and more recent cases.

The district-level committee will sift through such cases at the district level, while the state-level panel will be responsible for taking a final call in the matter. The official said the consent from the office of the Bombay high court chief justice had been sought in this regard and even the court registrar's office was in favour of the move.

Senior officials said panels could be set up at the district and state levels to recommend cases that would not be challenged as they have no scope for progress. Pursuing such cases hamper the probe of other important and more recent cases

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