HC committee to monitor progress of trials in child abuse cases

With an aim to ensure speedy justice to children sexually assaulted, the J&K High Court has set up a panel of judges to monitor the progress of trial in the cases under J&K Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance- 2018.

In a significant move, Chief Justice Gita Mittal has constituted a committee comprising Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Sindhu Sharma to examine and monitor progress of all the cases being tried under the law.

The law was promulgated earlier this year by J&K government through an ordinance following the worldwide outcry over the horrific gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua.

The law provides for the establishment of special courts for trial of offences under it, keeping the “best interest of the child as of paramount importance at every stage of the judicial process”.

According to an order issued by registrar general of the High Court, the committee would also examine and frame the guidelines for the special courts, so that child friendly atmosphere is provided in such courts in tune and spirit with the provisions of the ordinance.

In May this year, the Supreme Court had directed the High Courts to set up panels of its judges to regulate and monitor trials under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The provisions of Central POCSO Act are similar to P0CSV ordinance enacted by Mehbooba Mufti-led government.

Apart from enacting the law to deal with child sexual assault cases, the state government had also amended the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to provide death penalty for child rapists.