New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has given its nod for continuing fast track special courts for another three years for delivering swift justice in cases involving sexual offences.
After the passage of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2018 in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya gangrape case in Delhi, the Centre had decided to set up 1,023 fast-track special courts, including 389 to deal exclusively with cases related to violations of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, in 31 states and Union territories.
The scheme was launched on Gandhi Jayanti in 2019 for one year and was later extended for an additional two years until March 31 this year.
A government functionary had earlier said despite the Centre’s efforts, only 754 of the 1,023 courts were operational.
While several states had assured the Centre they would set up such courts, not many were eventually operationalised.
Tuesday, the Cabinet gave its nod to extend the scheme by three more years, with financial implication of Rs 1952.23 crore.
While the central share will be Rs 1207.24 crore, the states will contribute Rs 744.99 crore. The central share is to be funded from Nirbhaya Fund.
“Thirty states and union territories have participated in the scheme, operationalising 761 fast-track special courts, including 414 exclusive POCSO courts, which have resolved over 1,95,000 cases,” the statement said.
Each fast-track special court was conceived to try between 65 and 165 cases per annum. The annual expenditure to run one such court was pegged at Rs 75 lakh with one judicial officer and seven support staff, officials noted.