NEW DELHI: In the wake of Unnao and Hyderabad rape and murder cases that shook the entire nation, the Centre has taken a pathbreaking decision. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to the Chief Justices of all High Courts in the country directing them to complete the trial in all the cases of rape and those registered under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act within six months.
The Law Minister has further directed the chief ministers of all the states to finish the probe into such cases within two months.
Prasad further informed that as many as 1,023 fast-track courts will be set up across the country to conduct the trials in a speedy and efficient manner. Currently, there are 700 fast-track courts set up in India. The total number of fast-track courts will reach 1,723 with the addition.
The decision comes in the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of Unnao and Hyderabad victim which sent shockwaves throughout the country, leading to angry protests and increasing demand for quick justice.
A 23-year-old gang-rape victim was set ablaze by five men, including two of her rapists, on December 5 while she was going to Raebareli for a hearing of the rape case which she had filed against the perpetrators of the crime. The woman died late on December 6 at Safdarjung Hospital after suffering from 90 per cent burns.
Before the victim was cremated, her sister had said that the family of the victim will not cremate the 23-year-old woman's mortal remains until Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visits them. The sister of the victim said that CM Yogi must visit them and give an immediate decision.
In another horrific case, a woman, in her mid-20s, was allegedly raped by four men on November 27. They later set her on fire and dumped her body in the outskirts of the city. Her badly burnt body was recovered a day later by the police, after which the investigation began, leading to the arrest of the four accused. The gangrape and murder case of the doctor had outraged the nation leading to massive protests in several cities demanding justice to the victim and stringent punishment to the accused.
On Friday, December 6, the four men were killed in a police encounter at the same spot where the crime was committed. The Cyberabad Police, confirming the encounter, said the accused snatched weapon and fired on police and hence, in self-defence, the police fired back, in which the accused were killed.