New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to appoint special public prosecutors in each district court within three months for cases of sexual offences against children.
A division bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan also asked the Delhi government to file a status report in this regard by March 19.
"The Delhi government must take necessary steps to appoint special public prosecutors. File status report within three weeks," the bench said.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal sought direction to the Delhi government to appoint special public prosecutors for these courts.
Standing counsel Zubeda Begum, appearing for the Delhi government, told the court that the government has written to the central government on the issue of prosecution in such cases.
"We need delegation of power from the centre to appoint special public prosecutors," counsel said.
The court, however, said that it "cannot every day monitor the government".
"We cannot every day monitor the government. It is between the central government and you (Delhi government) and we cannot come and interfere every day between you," said the bench.
The PIL submitted that Section 28 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, (POCSO) "mandates establishment of a court of session to be special court in every district" and Section 32 "mandates appointment of special public prosecutors".
Petitioner Bansal said the government had neither constituted special courts nor appointed special public prosecutors.
The POCSO Act came into force Nov 14 last year, he noted.
The petition asked the court to direct the government to create sufficient awareness about the act and its provisions among the public, government officials and police.