45 Fast Track Courts Soon In Odisha For Speedy Trial In Rapes & POCSO Cases: Law Min

Bhubaneswar: High pendency in rape crimes and the resultant intense public pressure over largescale spike in rapes of girl child/women in State, Odisha government has finally decided to set up 45 Fast Track Courts (FTC) to ensure faster disposal of cases pertaining to grave offences against girl child/women like rape.

“Odisha government will set up 45 FTCs on a war-footing,” informed State Law Minister Pratap Jena.

He further stated that of the total 45 FTCs in Odisha, 21 courts would exclusively deal with rape cases and other atrocities against women. “State has 24 designated POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Courts. All required efforts are undertaken to make them functional at the earliest,” Jena added.

A significant mention here is POCSO courts were set up after Supreme Court directed the Union Government to set up special courts in those districts, where more than 100 cases of sexual offences against children were pending.

These special courts will exclusively hear cases of sexual offences against children registered under POCSO Act for time-bound disposal.

As many as 1023 Fast Track Special Courts will be set up across the country for time-bound disposal of Rape & POCSO cases. While the Centre will bear 60% of the total Rs 75 lakh for establishing the fast track courts, the rest will be borne by the State governments.

Below is the state-wise distribution of the proposed fast track courts across India.

As per reports, there are more than 1.5 lakh cases pending in the High Court out of which 21659 cases are being heard for more than 10 years while 3796 cases are pending for more than 20 years.

A resident of Remuna area of Balasore, Raghunath Behera, who has been visiting courts since 2001 in a land dispute case, said, “Sometimes officials are not present and sometimes courts remain closed which is why I am suffering since the year 2001. There has been no progress yet.”

Speaking on the pending cases, senior advocate Sourachandra Mahapatra said, “Due to lack of adequate number of judges, many cases are pending for years. The state government is not responsibly doing its work which is why people have started to lose faith on the judiciary.”