The POCSO Act, of 2012 acts as a lethal weapon to mitigate the socio-legal issues and heinous incidents of child sexual abuse and sabotage including a minor girl and boy child on a larger scale. The Supreme Court in this respect issued a set of guidelines to pacify the incidents of sexual abuse among the masses. They are listed below:

  • The courts should establish a child welfare committee to keep track of the complaints filed and those complaints shall be communicated to nearby police authorities within 24 hours.
  • It must be ensured that the police authorities shall record the statements of the child victim in civil or casual dress to avoid the fear of interrogation.
  • The medical examination of the child should be done under the proper guidance of a lady specialist and legal guardian of the child victim as mentioned under Section 27 of the POCSO Act.
  • The complaints must be transferred to the special courts for ensuring speedy and timely justice.
  • The identity of the minor should not be disclosed during the police investigation as stated in Section 23 (2) of the POCSO Act. The section describes the media procedure of not disclosing the identity of a child victim including the name, address, and other particulars of the victim. If it does so, it will lead to an infringement of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The cases involving sexual abuse, harassment, atrocities, sabotage, etc. should not be held infinitely and are disposed of within a year. Such cases must be reported under section 197 of the Act to the police or Special Juvenile Unit (SJU) by any person (including the child) who has a fear or knowledge of commitment to the offence. The failure to report such offence by any person shall lead to imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine or both under Section 21 (1) of the POCSO Act8. It is observed in Dr. Maroti v The State of Maharashtra   where the Bombay High Court held that non-reporting of knowledgeable sexual offences shall encourage the accused and acts as a shield against the provision of imprisonment.
  • The courts should employ a translator or mediator to assist minors with special care in facing court proceedings.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav D/8639/2019

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