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Cabinet extends Fast Track Court mechanism for rape victim

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 04, 2021

Proposed to cover 31 States, promotes time-bound justice

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the continuation of over 1,000 fast track courts to deal with rape related cases for two more years. It also gave its nod for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and The Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Fast track court

In an effort to ensure faster delivery of justice to victims in rape cases, the Cabinet decided that 1023 Fast Track Special Court (FTSCs) including 389 exclusive POCSO Courts will continue till March 31, 2023. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) with an outlay of ₹1572.86 crore. Central share of over ₹900 crore is to be funded from Nirbhaya Fund.

“Incidents of rape of minor girls below the age of twelve years and women below the age of sixteen years have shaken the conscience of the entire nation. The occurrence of such incidents and prolonged trials of convicts had necessitated the creation of dedicated court machinery which could expedite trial and provide immediate relief to the victims of sexual offences,” a statement issued by the government said.

It also noted that Centre enacted the ‘Criminal Law (Amendment) Act’ in 2018 and made provision of stringent punishment including death penalty for perpetrators of rape. This led to the establishment of the Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs).

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 hapless victims, it strengthens the deterrence framework for sexual offenders.

Currently covering 28 States, it 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 hapless victims of sexual offences in the country including the remote and far-flung areas.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur hoped that such courts will be operational in West Bengal too.

MoU

The MoU between IIST and TU Delft aims to facilitate academic programmes and research activities involving students and faculty members in each institution. It prescribes student exchange programmes where students at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels from these institutions can visit each other’s institutes. The parties will mutually discuss and decide the areas of studies and credits to be pursued under the scheme. Both parties agree the Practicum exchange programme for degree training should follow the educational system and regulations of the hosting partner. There is also provision for dual degree/double degree programmes.

Published on August 04, 2021

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