BENGALURU: The state government has decided to set up two more special courts in Bengaluru to try cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). This is in addition to two such courts already functioning in the city.
The government’s move comes in the wake of an increase in child sexual abuse cases being reported in the state. “We have already written to Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Justice D H Waghela requesting him to nominate judges for the proposed special courts,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told Express.
The minister said POCSO special courts have been set up in all the 30 districts and special public prosecutors have been appointed in these courts. He defended the decision to set up two more special courts in Bengaluru by citing the fact that the city accounted for the bulk of these cases.
About 1,600 cases have been registered under POCSO Act in the state, of which over 280 have seen conviction.
In Bengaluru alone, more than 400 cases have been registered.
Sexual assault cases should be disposed of within one year in these special courts, he said and attributed the delay in disposal of cases to witnesses turning hostile.
Jayachandra said work on computerisation, internet connectivity, library facilities and other amenities to improve the functioning of courts are being implemented. He assured that he would soon review the progress of these works.
A massive public awareness campaign to prevent sexual assault on children is being taken up in the state, he said.