The Haryana Government has decided to designate all courts of Sessions Judges and Additional Sessions Judges at each district, excluding Additional Sessions Judges (ad hoc) and Fast Track Courts, as Children’s Courts.
This move is aimed at expediting the trial of offences against children and violations of child rights under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
“Under Section 28 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, special courts under the relevant section of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, shall also be special courts under it to try offences. The Act ensures a child-friendly judicial process. It encourages such children as having been victims of sexual abuse, to bring the offender to book and seek redressal for their suffering as well as to obtain assistance in overcoming their trauma. It makes such agencies of the State as the police, the judiciary and the child protection machinery, collaborators in securing justice to a sexually abused child,” said Sumita Misra, the director general of the Women and Child Development Department.
Saying that it was a “welcome step” and would “go a long way in ensuring justice to the children in time”, Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, a non-government organisation, cautioned that there is a need to sensitise the judiciary towards child-related issues to bring about a real change in the situation.
“It has been often seen that the offenders in children-related cases such as child labour are easily granted bail despite there being instances of violence against the victim. Also, the police on some occasions invoke lenient sections in such cases making it easy for the offenders to go scot-free. It is the job of the judiciary to ensure that relevant sections are invoked as per the extent of the crime committed to ensure complete justice,” argued Mr. Kant.