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8 Apr 2017

Drive against child assault

TT, New Delhi, April 7: The Supreme Court today ordered the appointment of special public prosecutors in 10 states and two Union territories to deal with cases of sexual assaults and other offences against children below the age of 18 years as defined under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
The states are Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland and the Union territories are Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked the chief justices of the high courts concerned to initiate suo motu measures for the appointment of the public prosecutors.
The bench passed the directions while hearing an appeal filed by an advocate, G.K. Bansal, complaining that despite the Pocso Act coming into force five years ago, the 10 states and two Union territories had failed to appoint special public prosecutors.
"We are satisfied that the issue is extremely important and needs implementation of the Act. We deem it just and appropriate to request the chief justices of the high courts to appoint independent public prosecutors under the Pocso Act," the bench said.
The apex court also directed the high courts to ensure that a child-friendly atmosphere is created during trials.

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