The special court to try cases of atrocities and sexual violence against women and children is now reduced to hearing only bail cases due to official delays on the part of the Law Department. Regular proceedings of the court, which was started with much fanfare in January this year, were stayed as the department is yet to issue a notification for the court.

The court was hailed as a positive step towards speedy completion of cases of rape at the time it was opened. True to its promise, the court quickly resolved several cases of violence against women and children. It was discovered later that the notification for the court had not been issued due to some official error.

In August, the High Court stayed the regular operation of the court until the notification was issued. Only bail petitions in the cases are being heard by the special court now. “The notification is expected some time by the end of this month or early next month. All the cases will just stay pending until then,” said a source.

Meanwhile, a new court to try cases of the CBI is yet to come up months after it was approved. Kochi currently has two courts that try cases of the CBI. Both courts also hear cases of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The CBI special court-I court has been snowed under after it was given additional charge of hearing NIA cases in May this year. The judge hearing cases at the CBI special court-II is set to complete his service after he passes orders in the Kashmir recruitment case of the NIA. A third CBI court was approved after the Centre had proposed that the number of cases handled by each court be reduced to 50.

An official said the new court could not be formed until a notification is issued. Sources said the difficulty in getting a building for the court was one of the causes of the delay.

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