New Delhi: Days after registering a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL), the Supreme Court on Monday directed its registry to collate district-wise data from the registrars of all the high courts on the total number of child rape cases and how long these have been pending.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the apex court registry to file a report before it within 10 days. The next date of hearing was fixed for July 25.
Amicus curiae V Giri, assisting the court in the case, submitted that statistics pertaining to sexual abuse of children revealed a grim situation.
Apprising the court on the matter, Giri said, "Despite the apex court's orders, it seems steps to implement mandatory provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act have not been taken. Designated special courts have not been set up in several states."
He said material suggests the states have not notified special POCSO courts in all district.
The amicus curiae told the bench, "Special POCSO courts dealing only with child sex abuse cases have to be set up, judges have to be sensitised and special public prosecutors need to be appointed."
The provision to complete the trial in such cases within six months has not been implemented in some of the states, he contended.
The bench found it "disturbing" that no state except Delhi has provided facilities such as separate waiting and witness examination rooms for children in the POCSO courts, despite provisions and the apex court orders.
Justice Gogoi asked Giri for further suggestions as to what can be done to ensure that the victim children get speedy justice.
The chief justice said the court has only the cases reported between January to June this year.
"Pendency must be much higher. We need a district-wise breakup of the pending cases," he said.
Last week, Giri had told the court that more than 24,000 FIRs regarding child rape cases were registered till June this year across the country.