HC tells Delhi govt to place before Cabinet need for fast-track courts

6,414 cases under POCSO Act, over 2,800 sexual offences cases pending, court told

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to place before the Cabinet the requirement for 18 more fast-track and 22 commercial courts after taking into consideration the pendency of sexual assault and business dispute cases here.

Govt didn’t act

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A.J. Bhambhani said though the High Court had sanctioned certain posts of judges for establishing fast-track and commercials courts, the government has not acted on it for over two years.

“Once the High Court made the demand, government is duty bound to process it,” the Bench observed.

The High Court was informed that as on day, 6,414 cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and over 2,800 cases of sexual offences, particularly rape, are pending in Delhi.

It noted that the mandate of Section 309 CrPC contemplates that cases of rape under the IPC and of sexual offences against minors under the POCSO Act should be decided in two months after the filing of the chargesheet.

Considering the pendency, the High Court said it is “humanly impossible” unless adequate number of courts are sanctioned.

The court was hearing a plea for making fast-track courts a permanent feature at the district level.

The petition has claimed that fast-track courts (FTC) at the level of additional district or session judge was being run on ad-hoc or temporary basis and the Supreme Court in 2012 had directed that either they be discontinued or made permanent.

It has also claimed that there is a shortfall of over 200 judges in the subordinate judiciary which has led to an increase in pendency of cases, including those of sexual assault against minors and rape, in the lower courts.

Seeks creation of posts

The petition has also alleged that there is a shortage of commercial courts at the district-level and has sought creation of 22 posts with ancillary staff for this purpose.

“The present petition is necessitated in view of the delay by the Government of NCT of Delhi to take any action or decision in respect of the establishment of FTCs on a permanent basis and its insistence on extending the scheme on an ad-hoc basis,” the plea has said.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:47:41 PM |

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