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17 May 2013

Set up fast-track courts to expedite Muslims' cases: MHA to states

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New Delhi: Amidst demand for expeditious trial of terror cases involving Muslim youth, the Union Home Ministry has asked all states to set up fast track courts to take up such cases for speedy disposal.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the Centre has sent an advisory to all states and is also trying to find out how many Muslim inmates (involved in terror cases) were in jail and for how many years they have been languishing in prisons.

"We are trying to find out the facts. It will take time. We have asked the states to set up fast track courts," he said at a press conference here. Minister of State for Home RPN Singh had informed Parliament last fortnight that under the NIA Act, the Central government has set up the 39 special courts to take up terror-related cases.

The Centre has sent an advisory to all states and is also trying to find out how many Muslim inmates (involved in terror cases) were in jail and for how many years.

The move came three months after Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan had expressed concern to Shinde over "wrong arrests" of Muslim youths in different parts of the country in terror cases. Apprising the Home Ministry of the concerns expressed by various Muslim bodies that the "draconian" provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act can be misused against minorities, Khan had proposed setting up of special courts to ensure speedy trial of all terror cases.

Fully backing the Minority Affairs Minister's suggestion of setting up of special courts, Shinde wrote back to him saying "you have my assurance that this will happen."

(Courtesy: PTI, May 15, 2013)

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