Ensure speedy investigation, trial in rape cases: Prasad to CMs, HCs

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Describing the safety and security of women and children as a "matter of national concern", Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday urged chief ministers and chief justices of 25 high courts to ensure speedy investigation and trial in rape cases.

In separate letters to chief ministers, he urged them to ensure that investigation into cases of crime against women and children are completed in two months.

He also urged the high court chief justices to ensure that fast-track courts complete trial in such cases within six months.

Timeline on investigation and trial are part of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act passed by Parliament in 2018.

India will soon have 1,023 fast-track special courts for speedy trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children.

The proposal has been sent by the Union government, which estimates that each of these special courts is likely to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year.

Of the 1,023 fast-track special courts, 389 courts will exclusively handle cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as directed by the Supreme Court, according to a note by the Department of Justice under the Law Ministry.

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