Delhi’s ‘fast-track’ POCSO courts: A vicious cycle of delays, pendency, and trauma for child victims

With over 9,000 cases currently pending in 29 POCSO special courts in Delhi, just 56 judgements were passed in 2020.

ByDiksha Munjal
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Delhi’s ‘fast-track’ POCSO courts: A vicious cycle of delays, pendency, and trauma for child victims
Shambhavi Thakur
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Names of all those connected with POCSO cases changed to protect the identities of the complainants.

For three years, Shubhangi has made the tedious trek to Delhi’s Saket court. Every time she goes, she hopes to get the chance to complete her testimony in her case, where she was allegedly raped multiple times in 2016, and then impregnated, by a 40 year old man.

Shubhangi was 15 years old at the time.

Now 21, she’s still waiting to complete her testimony at a fast-track court. She’s caught in an endless cycle of court delays over the last five years, including the trauma of coming face to face with her alleged abuser in court.

“What if I marry her off and she is called to court to testify?” said her mother Babita, 51. “What will I tell her in-laws?”

But Shubhangi is just one of nearly 1,500 cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, or POCSO, that are all pending trial across five special courts in two districts of the Saket district court. She’s also one of over 9,000 cases pending in 29 POCSO courts across Delhi.

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