Taking serious note in delay by the Delhi Government in the appointment of Special Public Prosecutors( SPPs) for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act cases, Lt Governor(LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena has recalled all proposals for appointments and referred the same to Home Ministry for speedy disposal.
Giving details of this development, officials said here on Saturday Invoking Rule 19 (5) of the Transaction of Business of GNCTD Rules, 1993 in public interest, Saxena recalled all the files and referred the same to Home Ministry for necessary appointments or notifications under section 24(8) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
These extremely important files had been pending at the level of the Home Minister, GNCTD since February 2023, after having moved between him and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in January 2023, they said.
The LG has taken serious note of the delay by GNCTD to issue notification for appointment of SPPs thereby resulting in stalling the progress of trials in POCSO cases in various special courts of the National Capital for the last nine months.
The CBI in December 2022 had requested for issuance of notification for appointment of CBI senior public prosecutors or prosecutors under section 32 of the POCSO Act for trial of POCSO cases in various courts in Delhi and a reminder was sent on March 15, this year. Saxena noted that the file in this regard had been inordinately delayed, while it kept moving from the Minister-in-charge to the Chief Minister.
“The file with a proposal to this effect has been pending since January this year. Initially the file was submitted by the Home Department to the Minister-in-Charge on January 11 this year and subsequently it was forwarded to the Chief Minister on January 16, who returned it to the Minister-in-Charge on February 6,” officials said.
The officials further said that Kailash Gehlot is the Minister-in-Charge (Home Department) since March 9, 2023.
Gehlot replaced Satyendar Jain, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in money laundering case.
The cases relating to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are sensitive in nature and as per law the trial in these cases are to be completed within one year from the date of cognisance of offence and the delay in appointment of SPPs will adversely affect the case of investigating agency and may give undue benefits to the perpetrators of crime against innocent children.
The L-G House officials also said that it was noted that such sluggish and insensitive approach in dealing matters relating to cases of rape and POCSO Act, tantamount to extending undue benefits to perpetrators of such heinous crime.
“Owing to the delay, the Home Department moved for approval of the L-G in this matter. Accordingly, Saxena accorded approval to the proposal for obtaining the nod of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, for appointment notification of SSP or PP of CBI as SPPs in the POCSO cases,” the officials said.
They further said that since the issue of appointment was pending at the level of Minister-in-Charge since long, Principal Secretary (Home), proposed that the matter be referred to MHA for invoking the powers of Central Government under section 24(8) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and approval of MHA be obtained and conveyed to the CBI.