SC asks high courts to fast-track Pocso cases

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra directed all high courts to ensure that the cases of sexual assault of children are fast-tracked and decided by special courts.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a slew of directions to all the high courts regarding trial in sexual assault cases involving children.

The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra directed all high courts to ensure that the cases of sexual assault of children are fast-tracked and decided by special courts.

The apex court also asked the high courts to instruct the trial courts not to grant unnecessary adjournments during the trial of cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.

The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the high courts may constitute a committee of three judges to regulate and monitor the trials of sexual assault cases of children, as it disposed of a PIL filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava.

Srivastava, in his personal capacity, had approached the top court after the horrific incident of rape of an 8-month-old girl child by her 28-year-old cousin on January 28 in Delhi came to light.

The Union Cabinet had on April 21 approved the ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of rape of girls below 12 years.

The Center's move came after a public outcry for the award of death penalty to such sexual offenders, including the accused in the Kathua gang-rape case.

Srivastava's plea had also sought death penalty in such cases and framing of guidelines that investigation and trial of cases involving rape of children below 12 years of age under Pocso Act should be completed in six months from the date of registration of the FIR.

The police had said the accused had confessed to raping the child under the influence of alcohol.

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SC asks high courts to fast-track Pocso cases

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