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Law min scheme to fast track rape trial; wants MHA to implement it

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Delhi: The Law Ministry will soon propose a scheme that it wants the Home Ministry to implement to the Union Cabinet on setting up fast track courts across India to try rape cases and strengthen the infrastructure for better investigations and swift prosecution.

The new scheme to strengthen investigation and prosecution to deal with rape cases is part of an ordinance recently promulgated to allow courts to award the death penalty to those convicted of raping children aged up to 12 years.  The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Ordinance amended the IPC, the CrPC, the Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. While bringing out the ordinance, the government had decided to frame a scheme to set up an "appropriate" number of fast track courts to try rape cases in the states.  The proposed scheme will include components on strengthening of the physical infrastructure and prosecution machinery, provision of the required number of judicial officers for lower courts, additional posts of public prosecutors, dedicated investigators and special forensic kits.

"While the department of justice has initiated the action for preparation of the said scheme, it is felt that it would be appropriate that the scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs keeping in view the fact that most of the actions involved and stakeholders are being administered by the MHA," Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry has said in a recent letter to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha.

The Law Ministry would take the issue up with the MHA.  The proposal is expected to come up shortly before the Cabinet. In April, the government had issued an ordinance to provide stringent punishment, including death, for those convicted of raping minors up to the age of 12 years, amid a nation-wide outrage over cases of sexual assault.

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