Fast Track Special Courts Current Affairs - 2020

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Law Ministry to set up fast track courts after data on POCSO from HCs

The data from the High Courts across the country say that more than 96% of 1,66,882 rape trials registered under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) are pending. After receiving the data, law ministry has drawn comprehensive plans to fast track disposal of pending rape cases within a year. The plan is to set up fast track courts to hasten the process.

Highlights

The aim of the fast track courts is to dispose the cases within 1 year. So far there are 1,66,882 cases that are registered as rape cases and 1,60,989 cases registered under Pocso Act. The government of India is also planning to propose similar fast track courts under the 15th Finance Commission (2020-25).

The law ministry will set up 1,023 fast track court to complete the pending cases. The data from the HC says that there are around 389 districts all over the country where the number of cases under POCSO act exceeded 100.

The Ministry had earlier directed state governments and union territories to set up fast track courts for POCSO cases. Under the order around 218 such courts were set up in UP. The information was given in the Lok Sabha on December 6, 2019.

Issue

POCSO act mandates that the investigation of cases registered under the act has to be completed within a time span of 2 months. In spite of such strict law and policy framework, the number of rape and POCSO cases have increased.

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Government approves 3 new proposals under Nirbhaya Fund

Union Government has approved three proposals under Nirbhaya Fund including setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs). Decision in this regard was taken by Empowered Committee of Officers under Nirbhaya Fund, under Chairmanship of Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry. Apart from these three proposals, in-principle approval to proposal of Union Ministry of Road Transport and highways for C-DAC for customisation, deployment and management of state wise vehicle tracking platform for safety and enforcement.

Three proposals are

Setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs): It was proposal forwarded by Department of Justice under Ministry of Law and Justice) to dispose off pending cases of rape and POCSO Act across the country. In phase I, 777 FTSCs will be set up in 9 states and in the second phase, 246 FTSCs will be set up. It will have total financial outlay of Rs 767.25 crores.

Procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases: It was proposal forwarded by Union Ministry of Home Affairs to kick start usage of such kits in States. These kits will be used through Training of Trainers (TOTs), strengthening of State Forensic Science Laboratory (FSLs) and capacity building or training for forensics in sexual assault cases.

Setting up video surveillance system at 50 Railway Stations: It was proposal forwarded by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited for setting up video surveillance system at 50 Railway Stations. The funding will be utilised for surveillance hardware and accessories, local connectivity equipment and power supply devices.

Nirbhaya Fund

The fund is created by Ministry of Finance in 2013 with a corpus of Rs 1000 crore. It dedicated for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country. It is a non-lapsable corpus fund. It is being monitored by Empowered Committee of Officers under Secretary of Women and Child Development Ministry. It is an inter-ministerial committee appraises and recommends various projects (schemes) proposed by different ministries to be funded from Nirbhaya Fund.

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