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Fast-track court for women debuts in Ranchi

Ranchi, Jan. 5: Supreme Court judge Justice M.Y. Eqbal today inaugurated a fast-track court to deal with crimes against women, as Jharkhand became only the second state to take a step that is being held as a crying need following the brutal gang rape in Delhi last month.

The fast-track court, both for and by women, will function on the civil court premises in Ranchi.

Justice Eqbal, while doing the honours, mentioned that the Ranchi fast-track court was the second in the country after Delhi, which was constituted after the nationwide protests over the gang rape of the 23-year-old who died last week.

“Offences against women have been on the rise and the special court headed by a woman judge and a woman public prosecutor would go a long way in assuring women that their rights will be protected by the judiciary,” he said.

Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Prakash Tatia said that 296 cases of offences against women had been transferred to the fast-track court, which will be headed by additional judicial commissioner-III Seema Sinha.

The objective of the court was to provide speedy justice to the victim and pass effective orders without much delay, he said.

“The dignity of a woman has to be maintained and we will do all that it takes to provide justice. A woman will not feel helpless and not be prejudiced in redress of her grievances before this court. The necessary logistics required for the smooth functioning of the court has also be provided,” he added.

Earlier, Justice Eqbal was given a warm welcome by the Ranchi District Bar Association on his maiden visit to his hometown after being elevated to the Supreme Court.

The judge had started his career as an advocate in the civil court and practised for 12 years here before he became the first local advocate from Jharkhand to reach to the highest court in the nation.

Justice Eqbal remembered his mentors and senior advocates Bansi Prasad and former high court judge Satyeshwar Roy, who were also his teachers. “I have learnt from my seniors and it is due to their blessings that I have been able to achieve my goals in life,” he said.

During his first public felicitation in the civil court campus, Justice Eqbal recollected his days as an advocate as well as his father, a court employee.

Since his childhood, his father wanted Justice Eqbal to become an advocate. He pursued law after being a science graduate.

Justice Eqbal narrated an instance from his childhood when he had come to the court to bring lunch for his father. Seeing a vacant court, he sat on the chair of a magistrate, only to be rebuked by his father who told him that the seat is of great significance and responsibility.

“From that day on, I realised the importance of a judge and seek the blessings of the Almighty to help me in giving just decisions,” Justice Eqbal added.

Ranchi District Bar Association president Shambhu Prasad Agarwal said Justice Eqbal was a role model for young advocates.

“All lawyers should learn from him as he has excelled without any backing and support. Justice Eqbal hails from a middle class family and has succeeded only because of his hard work,” Agarwal said.

Justice Eqbal also handed over an ambulance of the district bar association, which will be pressed into service for ferrying advocates, judicial officers and their families in times of need.

He also inaugurated a judges’ residential complex in Doranda earlier in the day and attended a felicitation later in the evening.