Cabinet approves continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Fast Track Special Courts for two years
New Delhi, August 5, 2021
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday 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, with an outlay of Rs 1,572.86 crore.
Of this, Rs 971.70 crore will be the central share and Rs 601.16 crore state share. The central share is to be funded by the Nirbhaya Fund. The scheme was launched on October 2, 2019.
"The Government has always given paramount importance to the safety and security of women and children. Towards empowering the girl child, it has already launched several programmes like 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'," an official press release said.
"Incidents of rape of minor girls below the age of 12 years and teenagers have shaken the conscience of the entire nation. The occurrence of such incidents and prolonged trials of convicts had necessitated the creating of dedicated court machinery which could expedite the trial and provide immediate relief to the victims of sexual offences.
"To bring more stringent provisions and expeditious trial and disposal of such cases, the Central Government enacted The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 and made provision of stringent punishment including the death penalty for perpetrators of rape. This led to the establishment of the Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs)," the release said.
Fast Track Special Courts are dedicated courts expected to ensure swift dispensation of justice. They have a better clearance rate as compared to the regular courts and hold speedy trials. Besides providing quick justice to the victims, they strengthen the deterrence framework against sexual offenders.
Currently covering 28 states, the scheme is proposed to be expanded to cover all 31 states which are eligible to join the scheme. It is supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for providing time-bound justice to the victims of sexual offences in the country including remote areas.
"The scheme is expected to further the commitment of the nation to champion the cause of safety and security of women and the girl child; Reduce the number of pending cases of Rape & POCSO Act; Provide speedy access to justice to the victims of sexual crimes and act as a deterrent for sexual offenders. Fastracking of these cases will help reduce case pendency," the release added.