The Nirbhaya committee, which decides the usage of Nirbhaya fund, has approved a proposal to set up 1,023 fast track courts to handle pending rape cases and cases that come under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The whole project — proposed by the law and justice ministry — will cost around Rs.767.25 crore.

The project will be undertaken place in two phases. The first phase will see the construction of 777 fast track special courts in nine states. In the second phase, 246 courts will be installed

“The Empowered Committee of Officers under Nirbhaya Fund, under the chairmanship of secretary, Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry, has approved the following three major proposals which include setting up 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) to dispose off pending cases of rape, and POCSO Act across the country,” the WCD Ministry said in a statement, NDTV reported.

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Secretary of women and child development ministry Rakesh Srivastava, who heads the committee, has also approved the proposal of ministry of home affairs to procure forensic kits for sexual assault cases. Once the ministry procures the kits, it will use them in states and Union Territories through Training of Trainers (TOTs).

“The proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases to kick start usage of such kits in states/UTs through TOTs (Training of Trainers), capacity building/training for forensics in sexual assault cases and strengthening of State Forensic Science Laboratories under Nirbhaya Fund with a total financial implication of Rs. 107.19 crore was also approved on Friday,” the statement said.

“The proposal from the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited for setting up video surveillance system at 50 railway stations with a total project cost of Rs. 17.64 crore that will be utilised for surveillance, hardware and accessories, local connectivity equipment and power supply devices, also stands approved,” it said.

In 2013, the Centre announced the Nirbhaya Fund after the horrific gangrape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. The case drew global attention towards the shameful state of women’s safety in the country. As a step to decrease crime against women, the central government devised the Nirbhaya Fund to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working towards women’s safety.

Picture credit- India.com

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