Thiruvananthapuram

State gets 28 POCSO fast-track special courts

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Twenty-eight POCSO fast-track special courts will be set up in the State.

The Union Ministry of Law and Justice has given permission to set up these POCSO fast-track courts, Minister for Women and Child Development K.K. Shylaja has said. The State is planning to set up a total of 57 POCSO fast-track courts, the Minister said.

The Union and the State governments together will set up the courts, which will exclusively handle cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Each court will be set up at a cost of ₹75 lakh, to be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund. The Central-State share will be 60:40.

The first instalment of ₹6.3 crore has been sanctioned. Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram districts will get three POCSO courts, while Kollam, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Kannur will get two each. The remaining four districts will get one court each.

With this, POCSO fast-track special courts will come up in all districts.

Child-friendly

Ms. Shylaja said the government had rolled out many projects to make the State child-friendly but there was increasing incidence of crimes against children. As many as 2,497 cases were under investigation, and 9,457 cases were being heard.

Against this backdrop, a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister had decided to start POCSO fast-track courts in the State. The courts would also ensure speedy punishment to the guilty and be child-friendly.

There were no special courts to exclusively handle POCSO cases till recently. The Additional Districts and Sessions Courts in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, and Kozhikode, which handled cases related to crimes against women and children, had been designated as POCSO courts.

In the remaining 11 districts, First Additional District and Sessions Courts had been notified as children’s courts. These courts were designated as special courts to handle POCSO cases as per the POCSO Act.

However, they handled all cases, not POSCO cases alone.

The Social Justice Department had sanctioned ₹72 lakh to transform the POCSO court at Ernakulam into a child-friendly court. The Home Department had also given permission to set up a special court in Ernakulam exclusively for the trial of POCSO cases.

Three posts had been created for this court and 10 employees redeployed here.

With the setting up of the POCSO fast-track special courts, child-friendly courts would come up in all districts and enable speedy hearing in rape and POCSO cases, the Minister said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:07:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/state-gets-28-pocso-fast-track-special-courts/article30125587.ece

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