The government on Wednesday said that there are over 240,000 pending cases in courts related to rape and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act across the country till December last year.
According to a written reply in Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states with 66,994 pending rape cases followed by Maharashtra with 21,691 and 20,511 in West Bengal.
"As per information received from High Courts, the status of pending cases related to rape and POCSO Act, as on December 31, 2019, is 2,44,001," Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Lower House in response to a query by Janata Dal (United) leader Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh.
In furtherance to, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, a scheme was finalized for setting up of 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country for expeditious trial and disposal of pending cases related to Rape and Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, in a time-bound manner under Centrally-Sponsored Scheme.
So far, the Central's share of funds amounting to Rs 99.43 crore has been released during 2019-20 to 27 States/UTs which have so far consented to setting up of 649 number of FTSCs.
"As per information received from High Courts, 195 FTSCs have already been set up till January 31, 2020," the Ministry said. Surprisingly, not even a single FTSCs have been set up in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal where maximum number of rape cases are pending.
According to proposed FTSCs, maximum number of 218 courts will be in Uttar Pradesh, 138 in Maharashtra and 123 in West Bengal.
Andhra Pradesh will have 18, Telangana 36, Andaman and Nicobar Island 01, Arunachal Pradesh 03, Assam 27, Bihar 54, Chandigarh 01, Chhattisgarh 15, Goa 02, Gujrat 35, Haryana 16, Himachal Pradesh 06, Jammu & Kashmir 04, Jharkhand 22, Karnataka 31, Kerala 56, Madhya Pradesh 67, Manipur 02, Meghalaya 05, Mizoram 03, Nagaland 01, NCT of Delhi 16, Odisha 45, Punjab 12, Rajasthan 45, Tamil Nadu 14, Tripura 03 and Uttarakhand 04 FTSCs.
In its reply, the minister said as per the scheme of FTSCs, each such Court is expected to dispose 165 cases in a year for which States/UTs governments have been kept informed.
Among 195 Fast Track Special Courts functional and established for Women and Girl children under the Scheme of FTSCs till January 2020, 56 are in Madhya Pradesh, 15 are in Chhattisgarh, 16 in Delhi, three in Tripura, 22 in Jharkhand, 26 in Rajasthan, nine in Telangana, 34 in Gujarat and 14 in Tamil Nadu.