Bangalore city tops list with 231 cases
The State government on Monday told the High Court of Karnataka that there were 788 cases, registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, pending for adjudication before various courts across the State. Bangalore city tops the list with 231 cases pending before the Special Court. The least number of cases (three) were pending in Bidar.
The government submitted the details before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice H.G. Ramesh during the hearing on a public interest litigation petition filed by T.G. Rangaraju, an advocate from Tumkur.
The petitioner had questioned the government’s decision of appointing the existing public prosecutors, who were appointed to argue regular criminal cases before district courts, for cases registered under the POCSO Act.
He had contended that the very purpose of the legislation mandating appointment of Special Public Prosecutors for speeding up trials would be defeated, as regular prosecutors were already burdened with other cases.
Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar gave an assurance to the court that SPPs would be appointed by September-end. He said that a Special Court has been set up in Bangalore. Setting up of Special Courts in every district would have financial implication as the number of pending cases in many districts was in single digits, he said.
However, the Bench observed that there was no escape from setting up a Special Court in every district as it was specifically mentioned in the Act. The court disposed of the petition while recording the submissions.
As per statistics submitted to the court, the number of pending cases were more than 20 in Bangalore city, Bangalore Rural, Kolar, Tumkur, Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore, Uttara Kannada, Belgaum and Shimoga.