In the wake of Dalit agitation in Gujarat, the state government has announced setting up of 16 special courts across the state for the speedy trial of cases under SC/ST atrocities Act. As per the notification issued by the Gujarat Legal Department on Thursday, these courts will start functioning from October 1 and will look after only cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
These courts will be set up in 15 districts. Ahmedabad will get two different courts – Ahmedabad (Rural) and City Civil Court, Ahmedabad. Other districts which were alloted these special courts are: Anand, Banaskantha(at Palanpur), Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kutch (at Bhuj), Mehsana, Patan, Rajkot, Surat, Surendranagar and Vadodara.
As per the notification, these courts are being established in consultation with the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court. The development comes in the backdrop of ongoing stir by Dalits demanding justice for the community. Dalits have been staging protest across Gujarat after four Dalit youths were flogged in Una town of Gir Somnath district on July 11 for allegedly skinning a dead cow.
At various protest rallies in recent times, Dalit activists have demanded the establishment of special designated courts to try atrocity related cases.