The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked High Courts to ensure that trials in cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are conducted by special courts as envisaged by the Act and committees of judges are set up to monitor the progress of trials.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud directed High Courts to set up committees of three judges to “regulate and monitor” trials in cases of sexual assault against children.
Disposing of a PIL by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, the bench asked DGPs of various states to form Special Task Force to assist in investigations in POCSO cases and to ensure that witnesses are produced in court on the scheduled date so as to avoid delays. The bench also directed the High Courts to do the needful to provide child-friendly courts in accordance with the spirit of the POCSO Act.
The petitioner had also sought harsher punishment for those convicted for rape of children. ASG Pinky Anand informed the bench that the government had promulgated an Ordinance to give death penalty for raping children under 12 years.