Stringent laws, speedy disposal of cases can bring down atrocities, says the Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Animal Husbandry.

The government has issued an order to set up 10 special courts in the State to try cases of crimes against women.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Animal Husbandry T.B. Jayachandra said two courts had been sanctioned for Bangalore Urban, and one each in Bangalore Rural, Belgaum, Dakshina Kannada, Gulbarga, Kodagu, Mandya, Mysore and Ramangaram districts.

Each court had been sanctioned 37 staff, including a district judge. He said stringent laws and speedy disposal of cases could act as a deterrent and bring down the number of crimes against women.

The government decided to set up special courts following the gang-rape of a student in Manipal.

He said that the law has not been strictly enforced owing to various reasons. He said he would write to Home Minister K.J. George and Minister of State for Women and Child Development Umashree in this regard. The legislature committee on women and child welfare had observed that there was increasing incidence of rape, domestic violence, dowry harassment, child marriage and exhibition of obscene films in the State.

Mr. Jayachandra said a gazetted officer would be appointed to monitor the portrayal of women in advertisements and films.

As per the existing law, imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh would be imposed on those who portrayed women in an obscene manner in advertisements and films, he said.

Mr. Jayachandra has urged the Centre to immediately release Rs. 1,250 crore to take up relief measures in flood- and drought-hit districts of the State.

Funds sought

The Minister recently called upon Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar and sought Rs. 750 crore to provide compensation for farmers who lost their crops owing to heavy rain and floods, and Rs. 500 crore to take up relief work in drought-hit districts.

Mr. Pawar had promised to send a team of officials to the State to assess the damage, Mr. Jayachandra said.

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