HANAMKONDA: Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has described the model Warangal POCSO court as a temple of justice. Satyarthi inspected the court along with Chief Justice of Telangana High Court Ujjal Bhuyan in Hanamkonda on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that while the pendency of sexual abuse cases in the rest of the country is a whopping 92.6%, the Warangal POCSO court has disposed of 146 of the 256 cases registered in the year. “While the conviction rate is a dismal 2.5% in the rest of the country, 40 of these 146 cases resulted in a conviction. Swift disposal of cases will lead to swift justice and surely help in the reduction of sexual abuse,” Satyarthi said.
The Nobel Laureate said that he and Telangana State Planning Board Vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar had four years ago shared their views on POCSO courts and these thoughts were implemented in Warangal last year.“A majority of the victims are poor and villagers often do not get justice as they do not have knowledge about the laws,” he said, expressing his distress over the increasing number of sexual abuse cases where the perpetrator is a member of the immediate or extended family.
“Earlier, such cases were about 56% of all sexual abuse cases, but this has now shot up to 80% to 90%. The worst part is that victims from economically poor or from rural backgrounds are often pressured to withdraw the cases. This leads to the perpetrators getting away scot-free,” Satyarthi said.
He said that even after the Nirbhaya Fund was implemented, the government has not taken enough measures to prevent child trafficking. “During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, child trafficking rose to 98.9%. The Government has not taken the initiative to establish POCSO courts citing shortage of funds,” said Satyarthi.
Vinod Kumar said that after Telangana was formed, the State government started Bharosa Centres for women and children. These centres provide police and legal services, he reminded. “The state government is keen on bringing down MMR (Maternal Mortality Ratio). Since 2014, there has been a drastic decline in MMR and infant deaths. We have proactively discouraged child marriage, and our efforts are bearing fruit,” Vinod Kumar said. Justice Bhuyan stressed the need for increasing the number of POCSO courts to curb sexual abuse.