State govt told to set up POCSO courts in 18 districts

POCSO-Illustration-ICON

The Supreme Court has asked the state governments to establish courts dedicated for trying cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. This follows a drastic increase in cases of sexual offences on children.

Justice B V Nagarathna, Judge and Chairperson of Juvenile and POCSO Committee of Karnataka High Court, said the apex court has set clear guidelines, mandating that courts shall come up in districts with more than 100 POCSO cases. Accordingly, Karnataka will have to set up such courts in 18 districts. 

In Karnataka, a total 5,142 cases have been registered under the POCSO Act in 30 districts in the last three years.

“The state government should consider the directions of the Supreme Court and establish designated courts with adequate infrastructures in the interest of justice. If the state government also trains the public prosecutors under the special Act, it will be helpful to deliver justice in the child sexual offences,” she said.

The Supreme Court guidelines came during the hearing of a suo motu case on the implementation of the POCSO Act on June 19. Though a deadline of 60 days was fixed for setting up the courts, most of the states are yet to act on it.

On October 1, the apex court has issued supplementary guidelines with clear instructions to the state governments about the establishment of the designated court, staff, training of stakeholders and providing infrastructure to the courts.

Shockingly, Bengaluru has a high rate of child rape and sexual harassment cases at 1,125. It is followed by Bengaluru Rural district, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru.

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