The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to appoint special public prosecutors in each district court within three months for matters of sexual offences committed against children.
A division bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan also asked the Delhi government to file a status report in this regard by March 19.
“Delhi government must take necessary steps to appoint special public prosecutors. File status report within three weeks,” the bench said.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal sought direction to the Delhi government to appoint special public prosecutors for these courts.
The PIL submitted that Section 28 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, (POCSO) “mandates establishment of a court of session to be special court in every district” and Section 32 “mandates appointment of special public prosecutors”.
Bansal said the government has neither constituted special courts nor appointed special public prosecutors. The act came into force on November 14 last year, he noted.
The petition asked the court to direct the government to create sufficient awareness about the act and its provisions among the public, government officials and police.
“An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 years have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact,” Bansal told the court.