Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has issued notices to the state government in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which prays the HC to issue directions for withdrawal of all criminal cases pending in various lower courts of Assam, which has, as per law, a sentence of up to three years. Another PIL by the same litigant asked for the payment of compensation to victims of criminal cases entitled to receive fixed compensation under the Assam Victims Compensation Scheme 2012.
Sandeep Chamaria, an advocate of the Gauhati High Court, filed public interest litigation before the Gauhati High Court in PIL Case No. 06/2024 (Sandeep Chamaria vs. Government of Assam and Others). In this case, it was emphasized that the Assam government, as per the Cabinet decision and notification issued on October 21, 2022, decided to withdraw all the criminal cases pending in various lower courts of Assam (except in certain category of cases), which, as per law, have a penalty of up to three years. But, despite the issued notification, it was pointed out that the litigants are facing immense inconveniences for the non-disposal of such cases. This issue was brought to the notice of the HC and prayed, inter alia, for its practical solution and early disposal of such categories of cases.
In addition to this, in another case, PIL Case No. 07/2024 (Sandeep Chamaria v. Government of Assam and Others), it has been established before the HC that the victims of criminal cases are entitled to receive a fixed compensation under the Assam Victims Compensation Scheme 2012, issued by the Government of Assam long ago. However, it was stressed that the Assam government has not released the money for the last several years under such a victim compensation scheme, and as such, these victims have been suffering for years without any reason or fault. Therefore, through this PIL, a direction has been sought from the HC for the early release of such outstanding funds from the government, and it was also urged for the proper implementation of such a scheme for protecting their rights, which they are entitled to receive under the law itself.
After hearing both cases and being satisfied with the arguments of advocate Sandeep Chamaria and after hearing the other parties as well, the two-judge bench of the Gauhati High Court issued notices to the Government of Assam and the other parties named in the PIL, summoning their written replies. The court fixed the next hearing in both cases for February 28, 2024.