POCSO Act: 10K Cases Pending In Courts, Conviction Rate 33% In Bhopal

POCSO Act: 10K Cases Pending In Courts, Conviction Rate 33% In Bhopal

Sexually abused children will have to wait for 2 yrs to get justice.

SmitaUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 10:42 PM IST
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POCSO Act: 10K Cases Pending In Courts, Conviction Rate 33% In Bhopal | Representational Image

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Only 33% cases of child sexual abuse end in conviction in the state even as more than 10,000 such cases are pending in different courts. With slow-paced disposals, it will take two years to dispose of cases.

As part of a centrally-sponsored scheme, Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) have been set up in the state for trying cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

They too have failed to achieve target of quick justice in child sexual abuse cases. A research paper, Justice Awaits: An Analysis of Efficacy of Justice Delivery Mechanisms in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse in India, released by India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) unveils startling facts.

The report is based on data from the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Women and Child Development and National Crime Records Bureau. The report says that India had 2, 43,237 POCSO cases pending in Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) till January 31, 2023.

Even if no new case is added to this long list, the country will need at least nine years to clear the backlog. Madhya Pradesh will take approximately two years to clear pending POCSO cases.

In 2022, only 33.3% of POCSO cases ended in conviction. In 2021, the conviction rate was 33.5%. It was 37.5% in 2020 and 30.1% in 2019. The study states that sexually abused children will have to wait till 2025 for justice in Madhya Pradesh as the number of cases pending in POCSO courts as on January 2023 was 10,066.

The Fast Track Courts were supposed to complete the trial of such cases within one year and yet out of the total 2,68,038 cases that were under trial, only 8,909 cases resulted in conviction. The study highlights that each FTSC, on an average, disposes of 28 cases in a year.

“Each FTSC was expected to dispose of 41-42 cases in a quarter and at least 165 in a year. The data suggests that FTSCs are unable to achieve the set targets even after three years of launch of the scheme,” the study stated.

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