Despite special courts, cases involving city kids pile up | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Despite special courts, cases involving city kids pile up

Five years after a boy was allegedly sodomised by a police constable in east Delhi, the trial in the case is yet to start. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 27, 2012 01:51 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Five years after a boy was allegedly sodomised by a police constable in east Delhi, the trial in the case is yet to start.

This and many other instances point to an increasing pendency in cases related to children despite setting up of special courts for them.

Delhi had become the first city in India to set up special courts for children in 2010 on the Delhi High Court's directions. All cases related to children were to be transferred to these courts.

But, Mahesh (name changed), the sodomy victim, is bearing the brunt of high pendency of cases related to children in regular courts.

His case has not been transferred to a children's court. As a result, even the trial is yet to begin.

"The boy from a poor family in Bihar had come to Delhi for five times in the past one year but nothing has moved," said Raj Mangal Prasad of NGO Pratidhi, who has through several RTI applications tried to highlight the suffering of children in conflict with law because of slow justice.

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Of the total 526 cases received by the 11 children courts across Delhi, only 181 cases have been disposed of - a disposal rate of just 34.4 %. Cases as old as eight years are still pending in the courts, one of the RTI reply shows.

Seema (name changed), a victim of gang rape at the age of 12, is another victim of this protracted legal process. Her case is pending for almost four years now. The police had recovered her in a traumatic state.

She was kidnapped from a market in east Delhi's Preet Vihar area and then sexually assaulted.

She could be able to return to a normal life only after intense and prolonged counselling. But she is yet to get justice as the trial against those who assaulted her has been progressing at a snail's pace at the Karkadooma Courts.

The RTI reply shows that maximum cases were received by the south east district court followed by the north east court, a reason for high pendency of such cases in these courts.

The data showed most of the victims were assaulted both physically and sexually.

"The delay in justice to children increases their trauma, which, on many occasions, can have a lifelong impact. The judiciary should take steps to ensure that children get justice at a faster rate," Prasad said.