SC seeks reports from states, UTs on development of infra for forensic labs

New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed all states and Union territories to submit reports on steps taken by them to develop the infrastructure for forensic science laboratories to ensure speedy investigation in sexual harassment cases involving children.

A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose also said that every district should have special public prosecutors who possess the knowledge to deal with child victims.

Judicial academies in all states should prepare special courses to help such prosecutors, the court said while hearing the petition 'In-re Alarming Rise in The Number of Reported Child Rape Incidents' after taking suo motu cognisance.

The top court had said states would have to set up two designated courts in districts where the number of pending cases of child abuse under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act is more than 300.

It had made it clear that its July 2019 direction to set up one court in each district having more than 100 FIRs under POCSO Act meant it has to be a designated court to deal with only such cases under the law.

In a slew of directions, the apex court had said that a short clip, intended to spread awareness about prevention of child abuse and prosecution of crimes against children, be screened in every movie hall and broadcast by various television channels at regular intervals.

It had directed that the special court be funded by the Centre that will take care of appointment of presiding officer, support persons, special public prosecutors, court staff and infrastructure, including creation of child-friendly environment and vulnerable witness court rooms. PTI PKS MNL RKS PKS ABH ABH