New Delhi: To address the issue of a heightened rate of crime against children, many cases of which languish in courts without reaching their legal conclusion or conviction of the accused, a special courtroom has been set up to look into such cases exclusively in Delhi’s Patiala House.

So that the little victims are not overawed or intimidated by the ambience of a court, the room has been designed keeping in mind a child’s sensibilities. The pieces of furniture in the courtroom are tiny, as one expects in a kindergarten, while the room also sports toys for kids. The entire idea is to make the little deponents at home.

Chief justice of the Delhi high court Rajendra Menon inaugurated the children’s courtroom on Wednesday. A source in the administrative division of the Patiala House Court said, “One often notices that children get intimidated by the sheer mention of a court before them. Many children turn up but cannot muster the courage to speak up. This court has been designed in a way so as to address these concerns.”

There is a help desk in the courtroom for cases that involve family disputes.

If a plaintiff cannot afford a lawyer, the Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) will offer the litigant a lawyer who would counsel for free.

There is an additional judicial help desk for those who have been convicted and incarcerated but they have appealed against the verdict of the lower court. Legal counselling is free here, too.

If one is arrested, the police will inform the DLSA from where a lawyer would approach the suspect in police custody and offer him or her free legal advice.

Such legal help desks have already been established and are functional at the Tees Hazari Court, Karkardooma Court, Rohini Court and Dwarka Court.