Sexual offences: Govt to set-up ‘fast track courts’ for speedy justice

Srinagar, Jan 5: The Jammu and Kashmir Government is contemplating setting up fast-track courts for speedy justice in cases related to sexual offence against woman in the State.
Seeking their opinion for the need to set-up fast track courts in the State, the government has already invited suggestions from jurists, legal experts and the people conversant with the Criminal Justice System to take a decision on the vital issue.
“We are still at the rudimentary stage of seeking suggestions and prosecution data related to the crimes of rape in the State. After getting the requisite information, the process will lead to establishment of fast-track courts for speedy justice to the victims of sexual violence. The data would also help us decide on the number of such courts required to be established,” said the Secretary, State Law Department, GH Tantray.
He said, “Before the budget session of the Legislative Assembly, the government will complete all the requisite formalities.”
The State Advocate General M I Qadri said in keeping with the growing incidents of offences related to sexual offenses against woman, the government is mulling setting up of fast track courts as a “deterrent” to the crimes. He said the courts will definitely play a crucial role in justice delivery.
“There is of course a need to set up fast track courts to provide speedy justice to the rape victims and such courts will play a colossal role in providing timely justice to the victims,” he said.
He further said at least one fast track court should be set up in Srinagar and Jammu. In south and north Kashmir, at least two such courts should come up.
Qadri however said the final decision on the issue will depend after the expert suggestions are sought on the issue and deliberated upon.
Legal experts hold a view that the massive amendments are needed in the Ranbir Penal Code to make the laws on sexual offences against woman more effective and vibrant.
“Under section 294 of the RPC there should be punishment of five years for obscene remarks,” Public Prosecutor, Principal Sessions Court Srinagar, A A Teli suggested.
He said under section 354 of the RPC punishment for ‘tarnishing modesty of woman’ should be seven years rigorous imprisonment. “It should be a non-bailable offence,” he said. “Under section 362 of RPC the punishment for kidnapping and abduction of minors should be 10 years imprisonment.”
Teli said under Section 376, those accused of rape and convicted by the court, should be handed down life imprisonment.
Suggesting amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act, he said the accused up to 16 years should be considered as juveniles and those above 16 should not be given benefit under the said act for such offenses.
He suggested that in rape cases, a court should have no power to give sentence below life imprisonment and government should have no right for remission after the conviction of the accused.

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