Cases of rape and sexual assault on mentally or physically challenged persons will be heard in fast-track courts. State home minister RR Patil announced this in the lower House on Thursday during the ongoing winter session of the state legislature.
The minister said that the state government will also provide advocates of the “victim’s choice”.
Independent legislator Bachchu Kadu cited an incident of rape of a minor and disabled girl from Beed district. At this, Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Mangal Prabhat Lodha stressed upon the need for the state government to appoint special advocates. Pointing out that the conviction rate in such cases is dismal, Lodha said that this was so because the public prosecutor – lawyer for the state – has “certain limitations”.
To overcome this, said Lodha, special public prosecutors should be appointed. “Also, the responsibility of monitoring these cases should be vested in officers of the rank of superintendent of police,” he stressed.