Child rapes: SC asks high courts for fast-track trial
The Supreme Court today issued a slew of directions to all the high courts of the country regarding trial in sexual assault cases involving children.
New Delhi, May 1: Taking a serious note of the ever- increasing number of rapes, especially involving children, the apex court has issued multiple directions to the high court. The nation has been shamed by one horrific story after the other where little girls and toddlers have suffered. India's head hangs in shame. The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed all high courts to ensure that the cases of sexual assault of children to be fast-tracked and decided by special courts.The apex court also asked the the high courts to instruct the trial courts not to grant unnecessary adjournments during trial of cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the high courts may constitute a committee of three judges to regulate and monitor the trials of sexual assault cases of children, as it disposed of a PIL filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava.Srivastava, in his personal capacity, had approached the top court after the horrific incident of rape of an 8-month girl child allegedly by her 28-year-old cousin on January 28 in a locality near Netaji Subhash Place in north-west Delhi had come to light.The Union Cabinet had on April 21 approved the ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death penalty, for those convicted of rape of girls below 12 years.The move of the Centre came after a public outcry for award of death penalty to such sexual offenders, including the assaulters of an 8-year-old girl who was gang raped and killed at Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir recently.