Kolkata: In a unique initiative, Bengal has received four child-friendly courts which have been inaugurated from Bichar Bhawan in the city.
One child-friendly court has come up at Bichar Bhawan in Kolkata while three others have been set up at Purba Bardhhaman Sadar, Bankura Sadar and Khatra Sub-Division in Bankura. Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge, Supreme Court inaugurated all the courts through a video conference on Saturday.
The Juvenile Justice Committee under the Calcutta High Court has set up the courts with support from the Judicial and Women and Child Development departments in the state. UNICEF has also provided technical support in this regard.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court has urged the Chief Justice of each High Court to consider establishing child friendly courts and vulnerable witness courts in each district. The Apex Court also felt that inquiries under the JJ Act, POCSO and PCMA and other laws should be dealt in a manner so that a victim can be handled with high degree of sensitivity, care and empathy. Establishing child-friendly courts will enable the justice system to ease out the pain and suffering of the young victims, feels the Supreme Court.
Justice Lokur appreciated Bengal's effort to set up the child-friendly courts and also emphasised that the treatment of the victims within the court is of paramount importance. Other dignitaries who were present at the programme include Justice Indira Banerjee, Supreme Court Judge, Chief Justice, Jyotirmay Bhattacharya of Calcutta High Court, Justice Nadira Patherya, Justice Harish Tandon, Justice Soumen Sen, Justice Samapti Banerjee and Justice Sanjib Banerjee and other judges.
State minister for Law and Judiciary Moloy Ghatak, Dr. Sashi Panja, Minister of State for Child Development, Women Development and Social Welfare and Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, country representative, UNICEF India, also graced the inauguration programme.