Published on August 7, 2022 at 20:24 IST
The Bombay High Court ordered the Principal District Judge of Mumbai Sessions Court to submit a report listing the causes for delay in the trial of cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).
Single-judge Justice Bharati Dangre also sought reasons why special courts under POCSO were failing to adhere to the provisions of the Act.
The Bench was dealing with an application seeking bail on the ground of delay in the trial as the accused was arrested in 2016.
The order was passed after the Court considered an earlier report detailing the pendency of POCSO cases before the special courts in the city.
The Court was further informed that the case that it was dealing with was pending before a special court in Dindoshi, which has around 240 cases pending on its file.
It also noted the discrepancy in the distribution of POCSO cases among various special courts.
The judge further noted from the report that as on date, only two courts designated to hear POCSO cases, were lying vacant.
She, therefore, ordered the Principal Judge to inform the Court about steps taken to fill up the vacant posts so that necessary directions could be issued for designated two courts for speedy disposal of cases.
Further, the bench ordered the Principal Judge to furnish a data giving bifurcation of years from which these cases are pending so that the reasons for the delay could be ascertained and requisite directions could be issued for their disposal.
Specifically as regards the present case, the Court noted that till date, only two witnesses had been examined by the prosecution and over 10 are yet to enter the witness box.
Therefore, the Court directed the concerned special court at Dindoshi to dispose of the trial as expeditiously as possible and in any case not less than six months.
The matter will be listed again on August 29.