POCSO courts mimicking playhomes to help children in Karnataka
By Yathiraju | Express News Service | Published: 18th May 2017 04:58 AM |
BENGALURU: Children traumatised by crime against them will have some solace during the trial of the cases.
Coming soon are two special courts that look more like play-homes with toys and toffees to try POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act ) cases. The child-friendly courts are being set up in the City Civil Court Complex - one for Bengaluru Urban where 750 POCSO cases are pending and the other for Bengaluru Rural which is tackling 200 such cases.
Karnataka is the fourth state to establish child-friendly courts, after Delhi, Goa and Telangana.
“The intention of establishing these courts is to create homely atmosphere for the victims. They may be scared on seeing a court hall with accused, police officers, lawyers and crowds. There are chances of the accused threatening the victim by gestures... Therefore, the system is being put in place in such a way that the victim will never face the accused during trial”, sources said.
The sources added that Judge K M Radhakrishna, Registrar, City Civil Court, is monitoring the establishment of the child-friendly courts which are being set up with the guidance of Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Subhro Kamal Mukherjee.
Two halls on the fifth floor of the City Civil Court Complex are being converted into the child-friendly courts at a cost of Rs 35 lakh provided by the Department of Women and Child Development. PWD officials visited child-friendly courts in Delhi to study how the infrastructure is provided there, a judicial officer said.
M G Uma, Member Secretary of Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, said the child-friendly courts are being set up to comply with the POCSO Act which says that the special court shall have a child-friendly atmosphere by allowing a family member, a guardian, a friend or a relative in whom the child has confidence, to be present in the court.
Currently, the trial of the POCSO cases are held at the court halls no. 51, 54 and 55, of the City Civil Court.
Features of child-friendly courts
Separate entry for victims with their parents
A room with paintings on its walls for victims and their parents with a pantry attached to it
Victim will be provided snacks/milk/coffee/tea
No face-to-face appearance of accused and victim