Report No. 239
5. Special Courts.
Special Courts are set up quite often in cases involving large scale financial scams and diversion of public funds by those in public offices or corporate management. Crimes having inter-state criminal communal ramifications imperiling the security of society or terrorist crimes are also tried by Special Courts set up on ad hoc basis by the Governments. These are apart from regular Special Courts in vogue to try offences under the P.C. Act, the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Economic offences etc.
Large number of accused and the serious nature of crimes said to have been committed by them also afford justification to set up Special Courts. In this category falls the Jharkhand Case cited in the Writ Petition. The extraordinary delay in that case and a host of other cases and the causes that led to the delay reveal the need to set up a special court and the High Court supervising the progress of trial. Creation of more special courts to deal with corruption cases is an area which is engaging the attention of Central Government and High Courts.
Crimes allegedly committed by influential persons holding high offices in extraordinary situations such as Emergency was held to be a justifiable ground to set up Special Courts. But, any blanket direction to set up Special Courts wherever influential public personalities are involved ought to be avoided, especially viewed from Article 14 angle. Special and extra-ordinary situations should be present, apart from the accused being in an influential position in public life.