The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of 1,023 fast track special courts, including 389 exclusive POCSO courts, as a centrally sponsored scheme for another two years. Union minister Anurag Thakur said out of 31 states and union territories, 28 have started the scheme. West Bengal is one of the states which has not started the scheme.
The scheme would continue from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2023, with an outlay of Rs 1572.86 crore — Rs 971.70 crore as central share and Rs 601.16 crore as state share. The central share is to be funded from the ‘Nirbhaya’ Fund. The scheme was launched on October 2, 2019.
To bring more stringent provisions and expeditious trial and disposal of such cases, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted which made provision of stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for perpetrators of rape. This led to the establishment of the fast track special courts. These 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 victims, it strengthens the deterrence framework for sexual offenders.