The all-women court began functioning at the Mumbai sessions court from Thursday. It will handle all cases related to crimes against women. The move was implemented soon after the Bombay high court issued a circular on the eve of women’s day asking the sessions court to start a women’s court. As per the circular, the special court will be presided over by judge Vrushali Joshi and will have all women staff.
The circular read that directions have been issued to assign cases involving sexual assault against women exclusively to the courts presided over by women judges. It would be desirable that all staffers, ie bench clerks, stenographers, interpreter, typists, peons and constables, are women, it said.
The circular also said, “In cases of crimes against women, there is a need to enable them to give their evidence in a stress-free atmosphere and without any fear or embarrassment.”
Chief public prosecutor, advocate Kalpana Chavan, said,”We appreciate the judiciary’s decision, especially in the light of the current scenario, with the crime rate against women rising.”
“The special court will allow the victims to express themselves more confidently and that too in the right environment. At times, young victims of sexual assault have found it very difficult to express themselves before the court as it had only male clerks. But now, they can record their statements without any stress,” she added.