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Delhi HC Shows Concern Over Trauma Caused To POCSO Victim By Making Present For Every Hearing

The Delhi High Court showed concern over a sensitive issue relevant to POCSO victims. The HC worries about the impact on the young kids’ minds when forced to interact with the accused persons. The trauma does not end here, the minors are also made present in Court during the argument regarding the offense.

Justice Jasmit Singh points out the highly probable psychological impact on POCSO victims due to this kind of event and the expression of doubts about the integrity and character adds up to the mental agony. The Court opined that it is similar to making the victim mentally pass through the same horrific incident repeatedly.

What is POCSO?

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO Act) aims to protect children from any kind of sexual offense. It provides stringent deterrents for the commission of offenses against children. 

However, POCSO Act can not be considered a complete code in itself as it has to be supported by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1979, Indian Penal Code, 1860, Juvenile Justice Act, and Information Technology Act, 2000. 

The security of children is not guaranteed anywhere, as incidents of sexual abuse against children may occur anywhere. Therefore, it became necessary to introduce separate legislation that could provide a reliable system for mitigating the number of such offenses and punishing the perpetrators.

What is the issue that raised the concern?

The issue was raised in the matter of Babu Lal vs. State, where the father was booked under Sec. 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, and Sec. 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. The father challenged the judgment of the Court of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, by submitting an appeal, which was admitted by the HC on 18th February 2022.

The matter does not stop here, the father later makes an application to suspend the imprisonment during the period the appeal is being heard. The appellant’s counsel suggested certain guidelines, where the victim is made to appear physically or virtually in the Court for the hearings.

To this, the court said that in no manner the trauma of the victims should be triggered.

Varun Jauhari
Varun Jauhari

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