High Court to form Benches to try cases of atrocities against women

KOCHI, January 28, 2013: The Kerala High Court will form a Single Bench and a Division Bench to deal exclusively with cases pertaining to atrocities against women, Manjula Chellur, Chief Justice of the High Court, said here on Sunday.

She was speaking at a legal workshop organised by the Kerala State Legal Services Authority on focus on care-giving as fundamental to the Juvenile Justice Act.

Referring to the gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi and the nationwide protests that followed, Ms. Chellur said that Kerala would be the first State to have High Court Benches to deal with such offences exclusively.

She said two Additional District and Sessions Courts for trial of cases relating to atrocities and sexual violence against women and children would be set up in Thiruvananthapuram and in the north Malabar region. The courts in other districts with less workload would be designated as fast-track courts to deal with similar offences. The State government had offered to provide staff and infrastructure for the new courts.

In his inaugural address, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir urged the Chief Justices of various High Courts to set up a court in every district to try cases against women and children in a fast-track mode. Mr. Kabir highlighted the need to focus on childcare and rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system.

He inaugurated the Additional District and Sessions Court for trial of cases relating to atrocities and sexual violence against women in Kochi at the function and released a report on revamping of mental health care in correctional centres and juvenile homes.

Adoption of marginalised children should be promoted so that children would get comfort and care in families.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the State government would present a Bill on prevention of atrocities against women in the coming Assembly session.