New Delhi : Under Nirbhaya fund several initiatives have been taken by the government to ensure women safety and proper implementation of POCSO Act. These include a cyber crime portal to report obscene content; Safe City Projects in 8 cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai), training and skill development programs for Investigation Officers, Prosecution Officers and Medical Officers; distribution of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection (SAEC) kits to State/UTs; establishment of State of Art DNA Laboratory at CFSL, Chandigarh; assistance to 24 States/UTs to strengthen Forensic Science Laboratories; setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts(FTSCs) including exclusive POCSO (e-POCS0) courts for speedy disposal of cases of rape and cases under POCSO Act; setting up/strengthening of Anti Human Trafficking Units in all districts of the country; setting up/strengthening of Women Help Desks at Police Stations etc. The Government has also put in place Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, an online tracking and monitoring of investigation. A National Database of Sexual Offender has also been created.
Department of Justice (DoJ) under its Scheme for setting up 1023 FTSC is setting up 389 exclusive POCSO Courts (e-POCSO) for disposal of pending cases of rape and POCSO Act since October 2019. As of 31/10/2022, 733 FTSCs including 413 exclusive POCSO Courts are functional in 28 States/UTs which have disposed of more than 124000 cases.
For implementation of the Scheme fully, DoJ has created an online monitoring framework devised for monthly monitoring of case statistics. Video Conference meetings with the Registrar Generals of High Courts and State functionaries are being undertaken regularly.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 enacted by Government of India provides safeguards for children against sexual abuse. The act defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years. The POCSO Act 2012 provides for establishment of Special Courts for the purpose of ensuring speedy trial. The Act was amended in 2019 to introduce more stringent punishment including death penalty for committing sexual crimes on children, with a view to deter the perpetrators & prevent such crimes against children.
Further the POCSO Rules, 2020 notified by the government include provisions for mandatory police verification of staff in schools and care homes, procedures to report child sexual abuse material (pornography), imparting age-appropriate child rights education, among other things. The POCSO Rules 2020 also stipulate that the central government and every state government shall provide periodic training including orientation programmes, sensitization workshops and refresher courses to all persons, whether regular or contractual, coming in contact with the children, to sensitize them about child safety and protection and educate them regarding their responsibility under the Act.
As per the information received from National Crime Records Bureau, details of Conviction Rate(CVR), under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act during 2014-2021 is at Annexure-I.
This information was given by the Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.