1023 Fast Track Courts To Be Set Up Across India: Ministry

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Protesters hold a sign as they participate in a demonstration to mourn the death of a rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi, in Mumbai December 29, 2012. The Indian woman, whose gang rape sparked protests and a national debate about violence against women in India, died of her injuries on Saturday, prompting a security lockdown in New Delhi and an acknowledgement from India's prime minister that social change is needed. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST)

Ministry of Women and Child Development approved Thursday further speedy justice in sexual assault cases with setting up of 1023 fast track courts across India.

The ministry spokesperson said the courts would be set up within a period of one year at a budget of Rs 700 crore that will be made available through the Nirbhaya fund.

The spokesperson added Rs 474 crore will be funded by the Centre while the rest is to be borne by the concerned states.

It is learned the courts will be set up under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and there are about 18 states on board including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tripura, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Assam and Tamil Nadu.

Approval from the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) of the Finance Ministry is awaited. The proposal is currently under the department’s examination.

Meanwhile, earlier this week the Union Cabinet approved amendments in the POCSO Act, 2012 to include strict punishments including death penalty and jail term to curb child pornography.

The updated definition of the act reads, “Any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which include photographs, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and an image created, adapted or modified but appear to depict a child.”

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