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Molestation: Minister wants fast track justice

Renuka Chowdhury prescribes fast track justice to deal with the rising instances of the menace across India, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2008 03:38 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

Fast track justice for molestation victims is what Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury has prescribed to deal with the rising instances of the menace across India.

After a meeting with the legal experts and WCD officials, Chowdhury said, the states would be asked to dispose off cases of molestation in two hearings. “It is totally unfair for the victim to bear the harassment of going to courts so many times. Quick disposal will help victims in registering cases against repeated offenders,” she told reporters.

According to home ministry data, on an average molestation cases take about two years for disposal. And, the reason is excess burden on trial courts in the country.

Chowdhury said fast track courts for molestation cases would be the first step to deal with poor enforcement of molestation laws. “If you look at the conviction rate in molestation cases, you would understand why we need acceleration of trial in molestation cases,” she said.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of a New Year eve molestation case in Mumbai. Chowdhury expressed her dismay at pathetic enforcement of molestation laws and the hesitation by the police to register cases. “When women go to the police station to report a molestation case, the cops refuse to register the case and ask them to go home. This helps the accused and batters confidence of the victim,” she said.

“We are looking at the possibility of recommending changes in molestation laws. But, that would be done after nation wide consultations,” she said. Chowdhury also expressed her anger at poor implementation of Dowry Prohibition Act resulting in a rise in dowry cases and poor conviction rate. “The law is being reviewed,” she said.