The government on Wednesday declared that there were over 2.4 lakh cases pending in courts across the country relating to rape and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as on December 2019. Among those, Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states with 66,994 pending rape cases followed by Maharashtra with 21,691 and 20,511 in West Bengal.
Responding to JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh in Lok Sabha, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "As per information received from High Courts, the status of pending cases related to rape and POCSO Act, as on December 31, 2019, is 2,44,001."
A scheme was finalised in addition to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, to set up 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country for speedy trials and disposal of pending cases related to rape and POCSO.
"As per information received from High Courts, 195 FTSCs have already been set up till January 31, 2020," the Ministry said.
According to proposed FTSCs, a maximum number of 218 courts will be in Uttar Pradesh, 138 in Maharashtra and 123 in West Bengal. However, not a single FTSC has been set up so far in states with high volume pending cases such as UP, Maharashtra or West Bengal.
Andhra Pradesh will have 18, Telangana 36, Andaman and Nicobar Island 01, Arunachal Pradesh 03, Assam 27, Bihar 54, Chandigarh 01, Chhattisgarh 15, Goa 02, Gujrat 35, Haryana 16, Himachal Pradesh 06, Jammu & Kashmir 04, Jharkhand 22, Karnataka 31, Kerala 56, Madhya Pradesh 67, Manipur 02, Meghalaya 05, Mizoram 03, Nagaland 01, NCT of Delhi 16, Odisha 45, Punjab 12, Rajasthan 45, Tamil Nadu 14, Tripura 03 and Uttarakhand 04 FTSCs. Each such court is expected to dispose off 165 cases in a year.
Among 195 Fast Track Special Courts functional and established for Women and Girl children under the Scheme of FTSCs till January 2020, 56 are in Madhya Pradesh, 15 are in Chhattisgarh, 16 in Delhi, three in Tripura, 22 in Jharkhand, 26 in Rajasthan, nine in Telangana, 34 in Gujarat and 14 in Tamil Nadu.
(With ANI inputs)