The police today told the Delhi High Court that it has issued a circular directing its officers investigating child abuse cases to keep the victims and their family members informed about all developments in their respective matters.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar was also informed that they have directed the investigation officers to make a specific request to the court to reflect the presence of the complainant/victim, parent or guardian of the victim during the proceedings.
“All the investigating officer/enquiry officers shall inform the complainant/parents or guardian of a child victim in cases of rape/dowry/POCSO Act etc. through any possible means of communication about listing of bail matter in order to facilitate them to put their version before the court and enable the court to pass an informed order,” police’s counsel Sanjoy Ghose said while reading out the circular.
The police response came on a PIL by families of child victims of sexual assault, alleging that they were not being informed about the accused walking out on bail despite the law mandating that such information should be conveyed.
The plea, moved by the mothers of two victims of sexual abuse, claimed that under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Rules, the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) or the local police “must keep the child or the parent or the guardian, as the case may be, informed about the developments in the case”.
The women alleged that in the cases pertaining to their children, the provisions of the POCSO Act and Rules were not followed by the authorities as they were not informed when the accused persons had moved bail pleas or when they had been granted the relief.
The victims’ families came to know that the accused persons were out on bail much later, the petition filed through advocate Gautam Khazanchi said.
The Delhi police counsel disputed the facts and sought dismissal of their PIL on the ground that they have been “effectively and efficiently implementing the mandates of the POCSO Act and Rules.”
Ghose also said the police was working tirelessly to ensure that the interest of all child victims under the POCSO Act were adequately protected and safeguarded.
The petitioners sought directions to the authorities “to ensure effective implementation of the mandate of POCSO Act and Rules.”
They also urged the high court to direct the trial courts “to secure efficient and effective participation of the child victims through their legal representatives at all stages of the judicial process.
( Source – PTI )