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Govt to set up 1,023 special fast-track courts

 NEW DELHI, Sept 15 - The Union government has proposed to set up a total of 1,023 fast-track special courts (FTSCs) for expeditious trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children across the country.

Each of these special courts are expected to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year, said a proposal by the Department of Justice under Union Law Ministry.

A total of 1,023 FTSCs will be set up, out of which 389 courts, as per a Supreme Court direction, will exclusively handle cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, it said.

The remaining 634 FTSCs will deal with either rape cases or both rape and POCSO Act cases depending upon the pendency and requirement. “Each FTSC is expected to dispose of 41-42 cases each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year,” the proposal added.

According to the department’s proposal note, a total of 1,66,882 cases of rape and those under POCSO Act are pending trial in various courts across the country. There are 389 districts in the country where the number of pending cases under POCSO Act exceeds 100. Therefore, as per the apex court directives, each of such districts will have one exclusive POCSO court, which will try no other cases, the note said.

The process of setting up of these FTSCs is likely to begin on October 2, the Law Ministry had earlier said.

The Department of Justice had proposed to set up these fast-track courts at a total budget of Rs 767.25 crore. The Central support of Rs 474 crore for one year will be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.

The fund was created by the Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi. It was created to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working towards safety of women.

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretariat on August 8, the Department of Justice had said after recommendation of expenditure finance committee on July 11 and approval of the law minister, the proposal has been forwarded to the finance minister for approval.

“Simultaneously, other connected actions are being taken as setting up of FTSCs is planned to start from 02nd October, 2019,” the department wrote. – PTI

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