25th July, 2004  Volume 11, Issue 2

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Plans to expedite pending cases

By Jamila Najmuddin 

IN a bid to clear the backlog of cases, the Justice Ministry has decided to expand the panel of judges and also introduce eight new circuit courts in the island.

Justice Minister, John Seneviratne told The Sunday Leader that such a decision is to be taken due to the high number of cases that were yet pending in the appeal courts.

"There are more than 10,000 cases accumulated in the appeal courts," the Minister said adding that the oldest cases pending before the courts of law were the ones filed in 1994 and 1995.

"These cases are nearly 10 years old and it is only now that the appeal courts are looking into these cases," the Minister said.

He added that currently the panel of judges ranged from six to 11 and with this increase the panel would swell to 20.

"The increase in the number of courts and judges is to expedite the already pending cases not heard for many years," the Minister said.

He added that these circuit courts would be in the south in Galle and Matara, the midland in Kandy and Badulla, northeast in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Jaffna, west in Colombo, Sabaragamuwa in Ratnapura and Kegalle respectively. The project is to be funded by the treasury.

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