Bangalore: Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, Honourable Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee has assured Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi that he will personally see to it that POCSO cases are disposed off quickly. He has assured the Nobel Laureate that Karnataka will have more child-friendly courts in the state.
In a program hosted by Karnataka Judicial Academy in honour of Mr. Kailash Satyarthi and his Bharat Yatra, the Chief Justice of Karnataka made this landmark announcement.
Karnataka got its first child-friendly court, set up in Bangalore in August this year. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) stipulates that during the trial, children’s dignity and rights must be upheld apart from ensuring a speedy trial and procedural compliance in a child-sensitive and non-threatening ambience. Apart from Bangalore, child-friendly courts are set up in Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata so far.
As on 2016, Karnataka has 3529 cases registered under POSCO of which only 6% of the cases are disposed and a staggering 94% cases pending.
Welcoming the move by the Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said, “Judiciary has always stepped up to protect the rights of children and I thank the Chief Justice for his assurance of speedy disposal of POCSO cases. Bharat Yatra undertaken by my marchers and me is about protecting all children from sexual abuse and trafficking. I do hope this act by the Chief Justice in Karnataka inspires other states to also look into fast-tracking cases registered for crimes against children and create a legal deterrent.”
The Bharat Yatra, launched by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on 11 September, entered the state of Karnataka, reaching Kolar on 15th September, the fifth day of the 35-day long march across the country to build unprecedented awareness on combating child sexual abuse and trafficking.
Ever since its launch, Bharat Yatra has been drawing enormous support from citizens across India, including Amitabh Bachchan who tweeted to his fans to support the Yatra. Earlier, Union Minister for Shipping and Finance Mr. Pon Radhakrishnan was present at the Yatra’s flag-off from Kanyakumari by Mr. Satyarthi. In Trivandrum, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured whole hearted support from his government in eradicating the menace of child sexual abuse and trafficking.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a personal letter to Kailash Satyarthi extending his support to the Yatra, which will cover 11000 kilometres across 22 States, including Tamil Nadu. Some of the key cities it covers include Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bhopal, Jaipur, Srinagar among others.
Kailash Satyarthi has been campaigning for the freedom, safety and security for children across the globe for the past 36 years. His Nobel Peace Prize (2014) was for his continuous efforts and struggle for the rights children.
The Yatra is the launch of the three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of the cases, strengthening intuitional response including medical health and compensations, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials and increasing convictions of child sexual abuse in a time bound manner.