Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], February 15 (ANI): An inter-departmental meeting of the Punjab government on Monday decided on a slew of measures to strengthen the investigation and prosecution machinery for handling criminal offences against women and children, including the establishment of nine more fast-track courts under the POCSO Act and Sexual Assault Response Teams in all the 27 police districts of the state to deal with cases of sexual attacks on women.
The meeting was attended by Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Dinkar Gupta, Principal Secretary Social Security and Women and Child Development Raji P Shrivastava, Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Hussan Lal and Secretary Home Affairs Arun Sekhri. ADGP Women and Child Affairs Gurpreet Kaur Deo, Director Punjab Police Academy (PPA) Phillaur Anita Punj and Director Prosecution and Litigation Satnam Singh Kaler were also present during the meeting.
The decisions are in line with recent directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for ensuring time-bound investigations in cases of crime against women and children and improving the prosecution rate in such cases.
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan directed officials to clear the pendency of cases related to women and children from the period 2016 to 2020 through quality investigations on priority.
She also directed the home department to facilitate the establishment of nine other fast-track courts, for which approval has been granted by the government, in addition to the three such courts which are already operational in Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
Seven fast track courts are already in functional condition and are dealing with rape cases.
DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta told in the meeting that the police department is planning to set up sexual assault response teams in all 27 police districts to deal with sexual assault cases, besides holding weekly meetings to discuss and monitor the progress of all such cases under investigation cases.
Gupta further said that dedicated help desks, already established at all police stations and manned by women for attending to complaints of women, will be functioning from SAANJH Kendras located in close vicinity to the police stations.
The DGP also suggested that some additional district-level Special Prosecutors may be appointed to deal with cases related to sexual assault and the Nirbhaya fund will be utilised properly by upgrading forensic gadgets, mobiles and IT equipment etc in order to deal with online cyber offences against women and children. (ANI)