The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday approved the continuation of 1,023 Fast Track Special Court (FTSCs), including 389 exclusive POCSO Courts, as a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme (CSS) from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023.
The Cabinet has provided an outlay of Rs 1572.86 crore (Rs 971.70 crore as Central share and Rs 601.16 crore as state share) for the purpose. The Central share is from the Nirbhaya Fund, which is disbursed by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The Scheme for fast track special courts was launched in 2019.
Government sources said that there were around 1.67 lakh cases of rape and POCSO in 2019, but this number has increased to 2.34 lakh cases as of Wednesday. According to them, a backlog of cases amid the pandemic has been one of the reasons for the jump.
Welcoming the decision, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said it was a “major step towards de-clogging the justice system”. “This will provide quick justice to victims of sexual crimes,” said Rijiju in a tweet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani tweeted, “Gratitude to PM Narendra Modiji for approval of continuation of Fast Track Special Courts for rape and POCSO offenses… Since the setting up of Fast Track Special courts, over 51,600 cases of rape and POCSO offenses have been expeditiously disposed through 660 FTSCs in 26 states.”