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Only 3% of POCSO cases in 2022 saw convictions: Report

Currently, there are 351 fast track courts and 412 POSCO courts. Since October 2019, when these courts came up, fast track courts have disposed of 62,974 cases while POCSO courts disposed of 1,11,475 cases.
Last Updated : 09 December 2023, 10:51 IST
Last Updated : 09 December 2023, 10:51 IST

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New Delhi: Only 3 per cent of cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act resulted in convictions in 2022, reveals a study by the India Child Protection Fund. On an average, only 28 Pocso cases were disposed of by each Fast Track Special Court (FTSC) in 2022 even when the average expenditure for the disposal of each case was Rs 2.73 lakh.

The pendency in several states is so high that in Maharashtra, it might take up to 2036 for a child to get justice in a Pocso case. By January this year, the state had 33,073 such cases pending in the fast-track courts. In Andhra Pradesh, a complainant will have to wait till 2034 as the state has 8,137 pending cases, while in Rajasthan and Jharkhand, it will take till 2033, with 8,921 and 4,408 cases, respectively.

Karnataka (919) and Goa (62) are the two states with the least number of pending cases. A complainant can hope for justice by 2024 in these states.

By January 31 this year, the report says, India has 2,43,237 Pocso cases pending in its FTSCs despite the central government’s policy. “...Even if no new case is added to this long list, the country will need at least nine years to clear the backlog. In states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar, it could take more than 25 years to bring the pending cases to closure,” the report says.

A Supreme Court directive in December 2019 asked the state governments to set up exclusive Pocso courts. Prior to that, in July 2019, it asked for a Pocso court to be set up in every district that has more than 100 cases. The Ministry of Law then came up with the FTSC scheme in January 2020 under which 1,023 fast-track courts, including 389 Pocso courts, were to be set up by 2022.

Currently, there are 351 fast-track courts and 412 Pocso courts. Since October 2019, when these courts came up, fast-track courts have disposed of 62,974 cases while Pocso courts disposed of 1,11,475 cases.

The report says that, on an average, 57 cases are disposed of by each FTSC annually, while Pocso courts disposed of 68 cases every year. The Administrative Guidelines for Implementation of the FTSC Scheme 2019, however, mandated that each fast-track court should dispose of 41-42 cases in each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year.

“The analysis of the data suggests that FTSCs are unable to achieve the set targets even after almost four years since the launch of the scheme,” the report says.

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Published 09 December 2023, 10:51 IST

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