The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday set a six-month deadline for deciding all rape cases pending in Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh for over a year.
The directions were passed on a petition filed by a Gurdaspur district resident,who alleged that there were unnecessarily adjournments while hearing cases.
Justice Ranjit Singh passed the directions after a Haryana law officer apprised the court that exclusive courts for fast tracking cases in various districts have been set up. However,no time limit has been prescribed for completing trials.
Accordingly,there may be need for issuing direction for timely conclusion of such trials,which are pending for over one year in states of Haryana,Punjab and UT Chandigarh. All these cases under Section 376 IPC (rape),which are pending over a year will be brought to finality within a period of six months. Each court dealing with such cases will make an endeavour to adhere to this time schedule. Let copy of this order be circulated to each sessions division in the states of Punjab,Haryana and UT Chandigarh for compliance, the order stated.
The court also observed that directions have been issued by the registrar-general for setting up exclusive courts for fast tracking cases of heinous crime against women.