1,023 new fast-track courts to conduct speedy trial of over 1.66 lakh cases of sexual offences

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NEW DELHI: India will soon have 1,023 new fast-track special courts for speedy trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children. The proposal has been sent by the Union government, which estimates that each of these special courts is likely to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year.

Out of the 1,023 fast-track special courts (FTSCs), 389 courts, according to a Supreme Court direction, will exclusively handle cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, according to a note by the Department of Justice under Union Law Ministry.

The remaining 634 FTSCs will deal with either rape or both rape and POCSO Act cases depending upon the pendency and requirement. 

“Each fast-track special court is expected to dispose of 41-42 cases each quarter,” stated the proposal.

According to official data with the Department of Justice, a total of 1,66,882 cases of rape and those under POCSO Act are pending trial in various courts in the country.

There are 389 districts in the country where the number of pending cases under the POCSO Act exceeds 100.

Therefore, as per the apex court directives, each such district will have one exclusive POCSO court, which will try no other cases, the note said.

The process of setting up of more FTSCs is likely to begin on October 2, the Law Ministry had earlier said. 

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretariat on August 8, the Department of Justice had said after the recommendation of the expenditure finance committee on July 11 and approval of the law minister, the proposal has been forwarded to the finance minister for approval.

The latest note of the Law Ministry says that “other connected actions are being taken as setting up of fast-track special courts is planned to start from 02nd October 2019.”

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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