Child sex abuse cases 'double' in past one year

Only 14 accused were convicted

An RTI query has revealed “100 per cent” increase in reported child sexual abuse cases in the past one year. Of a total 792 cases registered in the past 11 months, only 14 accused were convicted.

The huge number of pending cases, which is over 90 per cent, has prompted a voluntary organisation to press the city government to set up exclusive ‘special courts’ for speedy trial.

The NGO, Pratidhi, has also appealed to the government to ask the Delhi High Court to revisit its decision in March that “for the time being there is no need for setting up exclusive courts”.

“We have been auditing the working of children courts or special courts through RTI, and have taken up the matter with the government. On the basis of huge pending cases we have requested the city government to take up the matter with the High Court for setting up exclusive special courts,” said Raaj Mangal Prasad, director of Pratidhi.

According to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, the city government should set up special courts for speedy trial of offences under the Act.

The High Court deputy registrar wrote a letter to the additional secretary of the department of law and justice, saying, “The court of additional sessions judge in each district has already been specified as children courts under section 25 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, in view of section 28 (1) of the POCSO Act.”

“Such courts shall be deemed to be special courts,” stated the letter.

According to the voluntary organisation, the data from different district courts gives a “very sad” picture. “Of a total 792 cases received in the past 11 months, only 14 accused were convicted. A total of 750 cases are still pending with all the courts. The very purpose of setting up special courts to try such offences is to provide speedy trial, but now 94.69 per cent of cases are pending,” Prasad said. 

The NGO received the reply under the Right to Information Act from the Directorate of Prosecution dated October 23. Section 28(1) of the POCSO Act states, “Designation of Special Court – For the purpose of providing a speedy trial, the State Government shall in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, designate for each district, a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under the Act.”

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