The Justice J.S Verma Committee Report had recommended the setting up of Fast Track courts for dealing with rape and sexual assault as a way to ensure speedy justice. In this article, the authors conducted a detailed study of the working of three such courts in Bangalore that were set up in December 2013 and examine whether these courts live up to their objective. The article makes a case for the need for witness protection services, so as to safeguard the interests of the victim of sexual assault before and after they have provided evidence.
The FTCs were suggested by the Union government after the 2012 case of rape in Delhi. The Justice J S Verma Committee Report had recommended the setting up of FTCs for rape and sexual assault cases. The question is, are they really delivering what they promise?
In August 2013, the Karnataka government issued an order to set up 10 fast track courts across the state for trying cases only of rape and sexual assault under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. Out of these, three FTCs were set up in Bangalore in December 2013. We conducted a detailed study of the working of these courts. A total of 167 cases of sexual assault and rape have been allotted to the three FTCs in Bangalore in the last one year out of which only 12 have been disposed of since December 2013.
Written by: Jayna Kothari & Shruthi Chandrasekaran