Odisha to set up 45 fast track courts
Odisha Government has decided to set up 45 fast track courts in the State, to expedite the trial of cases relating to women and children. The State government’s action comes after Centre has decided to formulate a scheme for setting up 1,023 fast track special courts for expeditious trial and disposal of rape cases. For this purpose, the Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked States and Chief Justices of High Courts to expedite investigation in cases of rape and those registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The fast track courts will function under Additional District Judges as per provisions of Orissa Civil Courts Act, 1984. Out of these 45 fast track courts being set up in Odisha, 21 courts would be dedicated for cases of rape and sexual harassment of women and the remaining 24 fast track courts will specifically deal with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases.
Once set up, the courts that deal with only rape incidents will expeditiously dispose of long pending cases in the Sessions Courts. At present, Odisha has over 15.65 lakh pending cases, including crimes against women.
NOTE: As per the annual crime data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently, 94.7% cases related to crime against women are pending at hearing stage.