New courts needed to try economic offences, says apex court

December 8th, 2010 - 10:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday favoured setting up of special courts to try cases of economic offences involving the violation of laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly said that it was not prudent to burden judges with cases of high financial magnitude when they are already burdened with a large number of cases, including criminal matters like murder.

The court said that unless the government was prepared to create exclusive courts for the trial of these cases, the ends of justice would never be met.

“We enact a law but we don’t increase the number of courts,” the court said, pointing to the situation in foreign countries where new courts were promptly created to try cases that may be filed under a new law.

The court said that the central government could set up such courts in consultation with the chief justices of high courts. The court said that it was necessary that one who violated the law and harmed the economic interest of the country should be booked and tried.

The court asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to ascertain the views of the government on this issue.

Earlier in the beginning of the hearing, the apex court rejected the plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that the court’s direction on the investigation into the 2G spectrum row be given in a sealed cover.

“If you introduce the element of secrecy that may not be conducive to the administration of justice. It is not warranted,” said the apex court.

The court asked senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, if it would be proper to give direction in a sealed cover after hearing all the parties in the case.

The court said that “it would give rise to speculation”.

The CBI plea was opposed by senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, appearing for former telecom minister A. Raja. He said that directions in sealed cover were given only in extreme cases of matrimonial disputes and security.

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