1 2

Special children's court to open in June

 

Image: ANI

 

By Ayushee Chaudhary

07 Apr 2017:  Bangalore’s city civil courts complex will open its first special children’s court in June. The initiative is being taken considering the rise in child abuse cases in Bengaluru and the disturbing affair that the incident and the whole jurisdiction process turns out to be for children.

The room will have a separate entry for the victim i.e. the child to avoid facing the accused. The environment of this room would not be anything like the regular courtroom with a high bench for the judge to sit or a witness box; the child would be sitting closely to the judge, in an open room ambience. There would be a one way mirror in the room that would prevent the interaction between the victim and the accused. However even if the victim is saved from having a look at the accused, the accused can see the victim from the other side as his right are also to be maintained.

There will be a waiting room next to the special courtroom for other victims with toys etc. There will always be one adult or the assigned caretaker, with the child. Arrangements for audio-visual proceedings would also be made in some highly specific cases.

Justice Ashok Hinchigeri, the chairman of the Karnataka High Court Juvenile justice Committee announced, “the special court should begin functioning post the mid-summer break in June”,  in an orientation program arranged for the judicial officers. The shell of this special court complex will have the entire facility within single courtroom for POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act-2012) cases. This is being looked up as a model to eventually consider for handling all children related cases and to gradually establish such set ups across the state.

Kushi Kushalappa, head, Policy and Community Integration, who was part of the team that facilitated this special court said, “To make the experience less traumatic and to ensure that the family supports the family into prosecution till the trial, to ensure speedy disposal of cases and more convincing positions in course; we need these kinds of special courts.”

At present the high court cases are handled in a similar court room as for others, although there is a special waiting room for the POCSO victims. But the condition of these waiting rooms is quite miserable with no water, no washrooms and no contact with when would their hearing happen, etc which further deteriorates the whole process.
Karnataka comes fourth among all states in registering such cases, according to the Crime in India report released by the National Crime Records Bureau in August 2016. In 2015, some 1,073 cases were registered in the state under POCSO Act while Bengaluru recorded 273 cases. In 2016, 280 POCSO cases were reported in Bengaluru.

Facebook Google LinkedIn Reddit Twitter