In the backdrop of ongoing hue and cry for justice for the Delhi gangrape victim, Bihar plans to set up fast track courts to deal with rape cases to provide timely justice to the victims, an official said in Patna on Wednesday.
Police officials admitted that more than 1,000 cases of rape and sexual assault are pending in the courts in Bihar as there are no fast track courts to deal with such cases.
"The Bihar government has already sent a proposal to the centre for setting up fast track courts for rape cases but the final approval is still awaited," a senior police official said.
Taking serious note of the countrywide protest, the Bihar government has decided to initiate move to set fast track courts out of its own resources. "There is a need for such move now" another official said.
"I strongly feel that fast track courts should be set up for trials of rape cases in the country. It will provide justice to victims and punishment to culprits," said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In fact, there are fast track courts including special vigilance courts and special Central Bureau of Investigation courts to deal with graft and disproportionate assets cases in the state.
According to woman activists, the lack of fast track courts is not only delaying the trials in rape cases, it also help the culprits to get rid of timely punishment.
"The lack of special courts to deal with rape cases badly hamper timely justice to victims in the state," Kanchan Bala, a women activist said. The latest government data reveals that in Patna alone, more than 100 rape cases are
pending in courts.
About 45 rape cases were registered in Patna in the current year but the police have file chargesheets in only 10 cases. Another woman activist Neelu alleged that 300 such cases, including 15 in the chief minister's home district of Nalanda, which are pending at police stations.
She pointed that over 250 cases related to abduction of women and girls are also pending. In 2012, 823 cases of rape were reported in Bihar until October. According to the National Crime Records Bureau figures for 2011, about 56 per cent women, aged 15-49, are subjected to physical or sexual violence as against the national average of 35 per cent in Bihar.
The crime rate against women has increased by 65 per cent in the last three years. Over 3,000 cases of kidnapping of women were reported in 2011, an increase of 104 per cent over 2008, according to the NCRB figures for 2011.
The figures said that the abduction of young girls is on the rise and 71 per cent cases of kidnapping involve women and children.
More than 50 per cent women suffered domestic violence at the hands of their husbands. Bihar ranks second in the country in terms of dowry deaths and abduction of girls.