More than 1000 fast track courts will be set up in the country for speedy trial of cases of sexual assault on women and children, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Women and Child Development said on Thursday.
For speedy justice in sexual assault cases, the Ministry has approved a proposal of setting up 1023 fast track courts across the country in one year, the spokesperson added.
According to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which deals with crimes against children, the verdict in cases of sexual assault must be given within one year.
The budget for building these courts is Rs 700 crore, and funds will be made available through the Nirbhaya fund, the spokesperson said. Out of Rs 700 crore, Rs 474 crore will be given by the Centre while the remaining amount will have to be borne by the concerned states.
As many as 18 states are on board to set up fast track courts under POCSO Act, including Maharashtra, Tripura, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Haryana, the spokesperson confirmed.
The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) of the Finance Ministry, which is examining the Ministry's proposal, is yet to give its approval.
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet had approved amendments in the POCSO Act, 2012 for awarding strict punishments, including death penalty, under the Act.
The amendments also provide for a jail term to curb child pornography.