Free Press Journal

State to release funds for infrastructure in POSCO court


Mumbai: Maharashtra government today assured the Bombay High Court that it would release Rs 23 lakhs within three days to meet the expenses for providing infrastructure in a special court set up under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) here.

 Of the sanctioned amount of Rs 26 lakhs, Rs 3 lakhs has already been released while the balance (Rs 23 lakhs) would be made available within three days, senior government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka.

Currently, there is only one POSCO court in the sessions court building in South Mumbai without any infrastructure, according to High Court administration which has filed a suo motu petition seeking facilities for smooth functioning of the courts in Maharashtra. Two more such courts would soon be earmarked by the High Court administration to try POSCO offences, S R Nargolkar, senior counsel and lawyer appearing for High Court administration, assured the bench.

The petition also seeks separate enclosures for minors who are examined under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Currently, a minor witness/victim has to depose while facing the accused. This can put the child under pressure and inhibit him or her from telling the truth, Nargolkar said.

The High Court administration informed the bench that it would gather data on the situation concerning water supply in courts located in various districts of Maharashtra. In some courts, water is provided once a week and the situation is more acute in some remote areas.

The data collected would be tabled before the high court in two weeks, Nargolkar submitted. The state government also assured the high court that it would provide 81 water coolers and 50 water purifiers in the district courts by March 31.

The petition also demands round-the-clock security in every court, saying that documents and seized evidence material are stored in the courts which must be guarded. The government said steps were being taken to provide 24-hour security.

CCTV cameras were installed in Bandra court in Mumbai and there was a proposal to provide them in other courts too.