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Special court inaugurated

The district and sessions court in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 8: A special track court that will deal exclusively with offences against women was inaugurated on the premises of the district and sessions court here today.

The court of sessions (special track court) was set up following order from Orissa High Court on January 21. District and sessions judge Debabrata Das inaugurated the special track court this morning. Registrar of the district and sessions court Hemant Kumar Sethi has been appointed as the assistant sessions Judge according to the high court order.

Sethi said this special track court would deal with the offences against women like those cases falling under sections 376 (rape) and 366 (kidnapping woman to compel her marriage) of the Indian Penal Code. The other offences those fall under sections 354 (criminal forces against women with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and 294 (obscene acts or songs).

Sources said women magistrates would be appointed to deal with other offences against women. “Three magisterial courts will be set up at Khurda, Banpur and Bhubaneswar under this special track court to deal with these offences against women,” said the registrar.

Following a spurt in crimes against women in the state, the high court had ordered to set up special track courts in the 27 judicial districts at their headquarters to deal with such offences and speed up the trail of women related cases by February 15. The first special track court to deal with offences against women had been inaugurated on February 4 on the high court premises by acting Chief Justice P.K. Mohanty.

Sources said 13 women related cases pending before the chief judicial magistrate and seven before assistant chief judicial magistrate were shifted to the newly formed special track court with effect from today.

This court will perform certain more activities such as identifying one court each, where more than one magisterial court are functioning, to deal with offences against women.

This court will also instruct all other courts dealing with offences against women to give priority on disposal of these cases along with issuing suitable instructions to the magistrates to consider the matter of taking cognisance of sexual offences against women in accordance with law without delay. The special court will also take steps to supply copy of documents to the accused persons and take steps within a period not exceeding 10 days.

Sources said that in the past four days, several such special track courts had been formed in various parts of the state.