NEW DELHI, July11: With 18 states on board, the government is all set to boost work on the project for setting up 1023 fast track courts to bring down pendency in rape and POCSO cases involving sexual assault on children. Approved in November last year, by the Nirbhaya Fund empowered committee led by ministry of women and child development, the law ministry’s project was taken up at the Expenditure Finance Committee meeting on Thursday.
The government is hopeful that all 1023 courts will be in ready within the ongoing and next financial year 2020-21. The ministry and project has a total financial implication of Rs. 700 crores out of which the Centre’s share is pitched at Rs 474 crores.
Currently there are 664 dedicated existing special fast track courts and 2021 public prosecutors. The 18 states who are on board to set up the fast track courts include Maharashtra, Tripura, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Assam & Haryana.
According to data shared by the ministry of women and child development in Lok Sabha in the ongoing parliament session over 90,000 cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 were pending for trial in the country by the end of 2016.
To enable better implementation of policies to combat child sexual abuse, the WCD minister has also decided to focus on data indicators. According to sources, the ministry has held discussions with the National Crime Records Bureau officials and expressed the need to develop indicators that can help deeper scrutiny of who make up the “known” person among people accused of abusing a child. It is felt that there is a need to develop a greater understanding of how many of these known persons among accused are immediate family members, relatives and neighbours. (TNN)