The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has demanded that the State government should set up special courts to try rape cases and stressed the importance of time-bound disposal of such cases.

AIDWA’s national secretary U.Vasuki said a rape case came up for hearing in a Chennai court 10 years after the crime was reported. “By the time the case came up, the child victim had grown up and got engaged. She did not want to depose before the court,” she told reporters here on Sunday.

She was here to participate in the 27th conference of LIC Working Women’s sub-committee of Madurai division of Insurance Corporation Employees’ Union.

The government should either set up new courts or designate some of the existing courts to try cases pertaining to sexual offences, she said.

Ms.Vasuki was critical about the State police saying they were hesitant to register child abuse cases under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

“This is a very child-friendly legislation and the procedures very much favour victims. In many cases, we had to stage protests demanding the police to register cases under this Act. We feel that awareness has to be created among the police and the common man about such new legislations,” she said. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has promised to bring a new legislation to curb acid attacks on women. It should address the issues of regulating sale and possession of acid and rehabilitation of the victims.

Stating that the acid attack victims required life-long rehabilitation, she said the proposal to impose a fine of Rs.10 lakh on the accused to pay compensation to the victims was not in right spirit. “It should be the responsibility of the State to rehabilitate the victims. Taking money from the accused will further damage the self-dignity of the victims,” she said.

Ms.Vasuki also wanted the government to form a State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. “Such a commission will be able to take up child abuse cases suo motu to deliver speedy justice to the victims,” she said.

The post of Chairperson of the State Commission for Women should be filled with persons who have worked in the field of women’s protection and welfare, instead of politicians, to properly guide the commission, she said.

The meet passed resolutions demanding legislation for 33 per cent reservation for women, steps to prevent sexual abuse of women and children, condemning the spiralling prices of essential commodities and increasing foreign direct investment limit in insurance sector.

Sahitya Akademi Yuva Praskara winner E.Malarvathi was felicitated on the occasion. Among the functionaries who took part in the meeting are G.Aruna, M.Rasheed Begam and S.Soundara Meenakshi.

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