In the wake of rising Dalit agitation, the Gujarat government Thursday announced that it will set up 16 special courts across the state for the speedy trial of atrocity cases against the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST).
The Gujarat Legal Department issued a notification, stating that these courts will start functioning from October 1 and will look after 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 allotted these special courts include Anand, Banaskantha (at Palanpur), Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kutch (at Bhuj), Mehsana, Patan, Rajkot, Surat, Surendranagar and Vadodara.
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As per the notification, these courts are being established in consultation with the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court. In a press release, state Law Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said that these courts were being set up for speedy disposal of the cases and timely justice.
The development comes in view of the rising agitation by Dalit organisations who have been demanding justice against the atrocities in the name of cow protection.
These organisations have been demanding special courts for atrocity cases for long.
The demand for special courts for SC and ST gained momentum following Una flogging incident on July 11 when four Dalit men of a family were beaten up, allegedly for skinning a dead cow.