Government to set up 1,023 special fast-track courts for rape, POCSO cases
The Union government has proposed to set up a total of 1,023 fast-track special courts for expeditious trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children across the country.
Each of these special fast-track courts (FTSC) are expected to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year, said a proposal by the department of justice under the Union law ministry.
A total of 1,023 FTSCs will be set up, out of which 389 courts, as per a Supreme Court direction, will exclusively handle cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the proposal said.
The remaining 634 FTSCs will deal with either rape cases or both rape and POCSO Act cases depending upon their pendency and requirement.
'Each FTSC is expected to dispose of 41–42 cases each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year,' the proposal added.
According to the department's proposal note, a total of 1,66,882 cases of rape and those under POCSO Act are pending trial in various courts across the country.
There are 389 districts in the country where more than 100 POCSO Act cases are pending. Therefore, as per the apex court directives, each of such districts will have one exclusive POCSO court, which will try no other cases, the note said.
The process of setting up of these FTSCs is likely to begin on October 2, the law ministry had earlier informed.
The department of justice had proposed to set up 1,023 fast-track courts at a total budget of Rs. 767.25 crore. Central support of Rs. 474 crore for one year will be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.
The fund was created by the Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi. It was created to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working towards safety of women.
In a letter to the cabinet secretariat on August 8, the department of justice had said that after recommendation of expenditure finance committee on July 11 and approval of the law minister, the proposal has been forwarded to the finance minister for approval.
'Simultaneously, other connected actions are being taken as setting up FTSCs is planned to start from 2 October, 2019,' the department wrote.