The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the continuation of Fast Track Special Court (FTSCs) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) from 01.04.2023 to 31.03.2026 with financial implication of Rs.1952.23 crore.

About Fast Track Special Courts

  • Fast-track courts, which were first introduced in 2000, began to receive renewed government support in the wake of the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme which was launched in 2019 after the passage of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2018.
  • It is Implemented by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice.
  • It has established fast track courts across the country, ensuring the swift disposal of cases related to rape and those coming under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
  • Aim to set up 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) including 389 exclusive POCSO Courts across the nation for expeditious trials relating to sexual offences.
  • Each court comprises 1 Judicial Officer and 7 Staff Members.
  • Out of 31 States and UTs eligible, 28 have joined this scheme.
  • The Centre will bear its share of expenditure from the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Following the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in suo motu Writ Petition (Criminal) No.1/2019 dated 25.07.2019, the scheme mandated the establishment of exclusive POCSO Courts for districts with over 100 POCSO Act cases.

Falling short

However, only 754 of the 1,023 courts have been working as several States had assured the Centre that they would set up such courts, but not many eventually operationalized it.

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