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The possibility of lower courts working in shifts to render speedy justice and re-employment of retired judges to reduce pending cases is being discussed with the state governments by a parliamentary panel.

“The committee is looking into the aspects of the courts working in shifts and re-employment of retired judges to dispose the pending and new cases and discussions are on with the state governments,” chairperson of the standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice and Rajya Sabha member Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here Saturday.

She said the committee is also studying the provisions of the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 to amend the Guardians and Wards Act 1890 and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956.

The amendments proposed are to remove the incapacity of the Hindu married women to take and give children in adoption and also empower a minor child’s mother to be appointed as the guardian.

The committee met officials of state governments, bar councils, banks and others to elicit their views on the issues of improving the infrastructure of the subordinate judiciary, speedy trials of rape and sexual harassment cases and cases in which senior citizens are parties, amendments to the personal laws and other matters, she said.

“The committee met officials in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. We will be visiting other states as well,” Natarajan said.

According to her, the committee is looking at the manner in which the infrastructure – buildings, office equipment and manpower – of the subordinate courts could be strengthened.

“We are also looking at the possibility of fast-tracking rape and sexual harassment cases as well as cases involving senior citizens,” Natarajan said.

On the issue of gender neutrality in public sector undertakings (PSUs), Natarajan said the number of women employees rising in the corporate ladder is lower as compared to men owing to family commitments.

“We found women employees turning down promotions on the grounds of transfer that would affect their family. The committee is of the view that PSUs should look into formulating flexible promotion and transfer policies for women employees,” Natarajan said.

She said the committee will also look into the implementation of the Supreme Court judgement relating to sexual harassment of women employees.

“During our interactions with the some bank officials we were told that there are no cases of corruption against women employees,” Natarajan said.

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