Data shows huge pendency of child abuse

NEW DELHI: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was framed in 2012 to ensure speedy trial in a time-bound manner of offences against children. But the data compiled by law ministry show that pendency of such cases are increasing as a result of delay in trial.

Maharashtra recorded most number of such cases with as many as 17,300 pending trial; UP has 15,900 and Madhya Pradesh 10,950. Kerala, Odisha, Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Gujarat have pendency of cases ranging between 3,500 to 5,000 under the POCSO Act.

The POCSO courts are special courts for the trial of cases of crimes against children intended to protect minors and preventing their victimization again by courts which have to deal with long pendency of other cases. A POCSO court has provision for in-camera trial in a child-friendly environment without revealing the identity of children.

There are 597 such courts across the country, almost one in every district, to ensure that the trials are completed within a year from the registration of the FIR. These courts come under the direct supervision of the high court of respective states. The high courts are responsible to monitor the working and control of POCSO courts.

There are more than 90,205 cases pending trial across 29 states and seven union territories till 2016 for which the data is available. A year before, the government had, however, reported total pendency of POCSO related cases at 27,558 across the country. The significant jump in pendency is a cause of concern.

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