Cases of sexual assault in Delhi will now be tried in fast-track courts.
The Delhi high court on Wednesday accepted Delhi government's request to set up five special courts to fast-track trial in cases of sexual offence against women.
But it does not mean that the cases of sexual assault would now be heard on day-to-day basis. "Since the judge hearing the case and the support staff will only be looking after the rape cases, they would be able to complete the trial fast," the official said.
"There will be no fix time in which these courts will have to complete the trial."
Delhi is not the first state in the country to have special fast track courts. Maharashtra has similar courts to try cases of sexual assault. But the way was shown by Rajasthan where a fast-track court was set up in Jodhpur as early as in 2005 and the court announced the sentence within three weeks of the filing of the case.
While the fast-track court would ensure that the case does not linger on, officials, however, said a lot depends on how quickly the police complete its investigation and file chargesheet.
Though the police are given 90 days to file the chargesheet, the deadline is rarely followed in Delhi. "With more than 600 cases of sexual offence reported in the Capital every year, it would be a challenge for the police to file the chargesheet quickly and an equally big challenge for the court will be to hear the case and announce the sentence," a senior Delhi government official said.
While there are six district courts in Delhi the five special courts are likely to come up in each district court except Patiala House, where very few sexual offence cases are actually heard.