In a significant move, the government has approved three new proposals – fast-track special courts, procurement of forensic kits in sexual assault cases and setting up video surveillance system at 50 railway stations under the Nirbhaya Fund.
The decision was taken by the Empowered Committee of Officers headed by Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) Secretary Rakesh Srivastava.
The new proposals have come from three ministries – Law, Home and Railways.
Under the fund, the Ministry of Law and Justice has proposed to set up 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) to dispose of pending cases of rape and those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act across the country.
With a total financial implication of Rs 767.25 crore, the project in the first phase may be set up in nine states with 777 FTSCs while in second phase 246 FTSCs will come up.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases to kickstart 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 Laboratory (SFSLs) under Nirbhaya Fund with a total financial implication of Rs 107.19 crore.
Under the Railway Ministry, the proposal has come from 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 have also been approved.
Also, in-principle approval was given to the proposal, from Ministry of Road Transport and highways, of C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) for customisation, deployment and management of state wise vehicle tracking platform for safety and enforcement with AIS (Advanced Info Service) 140 specification.
After the gang-rape and murder of Nirbhaya in Delhi on December 16, 2012, the government had announced the Nirbhaya Fund scheme in 2013 to support state governments and NGOs working for women’s safety.