SC tells HCs to set up panels for trial in POCSO cases

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked high courts across the country to set up committees of judges to monitor and regulate the trial of cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also directed the Directors General or Commissioners of Police in the states to set up Special Task Forces so that the investigation in carried out expeditiously and witnesses are produced in the court on the date of their appearance.

The court order came as it was told that 112,628 cases under POCSO Act were pending before trial courts across the country, with Uttar Pradesh leading the list at 30,883.

Maharashtra including Goa, Union Territory (UT) of Diu and Daman, Dadar and Nagar Haveli has 16,099 pending cases, followed by Madhya Pradesh (10,117), West Bengal (9,894), Odisha (6,849), Delhi (6,100), Kerala including UT Of Lakshadweep (5,409), Gujarat (5,177), Bihar (4,910) and Karnataka (4,045).

Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand informed the court that the government had amended the law providing for death penalty for the rape children younger than 12.