Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)
Bihar government creates 22 exclusive POCSO courts in 11 districts
Eleven judicial districts in the state, including the one at Patna, will now have two instead of one court each for handling cases lodged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in order to bring down the pendency of cases and deliver justice to minors quickly.
In addition, all these POCSO courts will be exclusive and special one, which means they can handle POCSO cases solely and there will no more additional burden on them to hear other matters. Earlier, POCSO courts in the state were not exclusive. They used to take up other cases too.
The state government’s law department, in consultation with Patna high court, issued a notification in this regard on Friday. All these changes have been made in light of Supreme Court’s direction for decreasing pendency of POCSO cases.
As per notification, Bhagalpur, East Chamaparan, Gaya, Katihar, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Purnia, Rohtas, West Champaran and Patna judicial districts will have two exclusive special courts. The reason for providing two courts to these districts is that more than 300 cases under POCSO Act are pending for disposal at these places.
In Araria, Aurangabad, Begusarai, Banka, Bhojpur, Buxar, Darbhanga, Gopalganj, Jehanabad, Kaimur, Khagaria, Lakhisarai, Madhepura, Munger, Nawada, Saharsa, Samastipur, Saran, Sheikhpura, Sitamarhi, Siwan, Supaul and Vaishali judicial districts, there will be one court like earlier. However, these courts will also be exclusive and special and instead of court of ADJ-1, ADJ-VI has been earmarked for the purpose.
In Jamui, Kishanganj and Shoehar, court of ADJ-I will continue to handle POCSO cases.
Special public prosecutor (POCSO Act, Patna) Suresh Chandra Prasad said around 1,300 POCSO cases are awaiting disposal in Patna alone.