Telangana now has its own special court only for children. Inaugurated in Hyderabad recently, this is South India’s first and India’s third after Goa and Delhi. The ‘child friendly’ courtroom was jointly inaugurated at the Nampally Criminal Courts Complex by the Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad and Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma.
This court is the sixth in the country with amenities like separate waiting rooms for children and a video camera trial for the accused, mandated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act-2012. This act stipulates child-friendly court rooms be put in place across all states at the earliest in the interest of children in need of care. At present, there are over 1640 cases under POCSO Act that were pending at various stages in different district courts of Telangana till 2015 and this court will not cater to any other cases other than children’s leading to quicker disposal of cases.
The witness/victim will be allowed direct interaction with the judge, while the accused (who will be at a different location) will be able to view and hear the proceedings via two-way video conferencing in the courtroom, and the child will not be allowed to come face to face with the alleged offenders to make sure he/she is not intimidated while the court proceedings are on. This will give rise to a non-threatening situation.
The Nampally project was facilitated by NGO Justice and Care in collaboration with the state government and the judiciary.