The Bombay high court on Monday sought to know the stand of the state government on setting up special courts for dealing with sexual offences against children — as stipulated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The court gave the government four weeks to make clear its stand on setting up the special courts.
A division bench of justice Ajay Khanwilkar and justice KK Tated was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Sakhee seeking transfer of investigation of a case involving sexual assault on a 16-year-old boy working at a private farm-house and also setting up of special court for dealing with those allegedly involved in the offence.
Sakhee’s counsel Rohini Wagh pointed out that though the legislation requires offences involving sexual assault on children to be dealt with by a special court, no such courts have been set up in Maharashtra. The bench then directed public prosecutor Revati Mohite-Dere to file an affidavit clearing the government’s stand.
The NGO sought transfer of the offence registered with Ottur police station in Pune district on August 18, 2012. Wagh alleged that the local police were favouring accused persons, who happen to be influential. Dere said the special committee set up for dealing with complaints about the investigation would consider the plea for the transfer.