New Delhi: Eleven children`s courts will soon be set up in the Indian capital in an effort to reach out to child victims of crime who suffer immeasurably because of long judicial processes.
In one case, for instance, a widower raped his daughter over a period of time. The case has dragged on, prolonging the agony for the girl, who has already been scarred - physically and mentally.
The initiative by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to set up more children`s courts is aimed at helping these children, who are victims of crime but whose rights are often denied.
The process of collection of data on such cases has already begun.
Amod Kanth, chairperson of the DCPCR, said: "There are four categories of children who come under the purview of law - when a child commits a crime, when a child is in need of protection, when a child is a victim of exploitation and when a child is a victim of crime."
"While the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act takes care of the first three cases, it`s the rights of the fourth category of kids - those who are victims of crime - that are often denied. These children`s courts will therefore deal with such cases where a child is a victim, expedite them and ensure that their rights are not denied," Kanth told IANS in an interview.
To deal with such cases, Kanth, who also runs Prayas, an NGO for underprivileged children, said the commission approached the Delhi High Court early this year and elicited a positive response.
"Since there is a provision under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act 2005 to set up children`s courts in all districts to deal with the legal protection of kids, we took up the matter with the Delhi High Court which responded positively by designating such courts in a short time and with each court under most senior additional sessions judge (ASJ)," he said.
"Delhi will become the first state where such an initiative is being taken," Kanth added.
On Oct 18, the commission urged the Delhi government`s secretary for law and justice to convene a meeting of the director of prosecution, representative of the commissioner of police (in charge of Child Protection and Juvenile Justice) and the director, social welfare department, for drawing up an action plan to transfer all such cases to the designated courts, a DCPCR statement said.