The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Delhi government’s stand on a petition demanding special courts to try sexual offences committed against children.
Issuing notice to the law department of the Delhi government and the directorate of prosecutions, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and justice VK Jain sought their reply by May 1.
Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, the petitioner, also sought direction to the government to appoint special public prosecutors for these courts.
The public interest litigation submitted that section 28 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 “mandates establishment of a court of session to be special court in every district” and section 32 “mandates appointment of special public prosecutors”.
The petitioner said the government had neither constituted special courts nor appointed special public prosecutors.
The act came into force on November 14 last year. The petition seeks the court’s direction to the government to create sufficient awareness about the act and its provisions among the public, government officials and police.
Quoting a 2010 report of the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Bansal said, “An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under age 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact.”
According to the ministry report, 53.22 per cent of the children have experienced sexual abuse in one form or other, the petitioner said.