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Alakh Alok Srivastava Vs Union Of India And Others (2018): Guidelines To Be Followed By Special Courts And HC While Trying A Case Under The POCSO Act, 2012 Laid Down By The Supreme Court

Smriti Dubey ,
  13 December 2021       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
WRIT PETITION (C) No.76 OF 2018

DATE OF JUDGEMENT
May 01, 2018

BENCH
Hon’ble CJI Dipak Misra

PARTIES
Petitioner- Alakh Alok Srivastava
Respondents- Union of India & Ors.

SUBEJCT

The Supreme Court in this case laid down guidelines to be followed by Special Courts while trying a case under the POCSO Act, 2012.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

Statement of Objects and Reasons of the POCSO Act-

4. It is, therefore, proposed to enact a self-contained comprehensive legislation inter alia to provide for protection of children from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest and well-being of the child at every stage of the judicial process incorporating child friendly procedures for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences and provision for establishment of Special Courts for speedy trial of such offences.

OVERVIEW

  • This writ petition was filed in relation to a case where an eight-month-old female child had been the victim of crime committed under The Protection of Children from sexual offences Act, 2012.
  • The petitioner in this petition has urged that there should be speedy disposal of cases under POCSO Act the petitioner also filed a chart showing the number of cases under the POCSO act pending in various state and requested the court to issue direction in regard to the same so that sensitivity with regard to the said legislation is shown by the trial courts and speedy trial happens as postulated in the POCSO Act.

ISSUE

Speedy trial and monitoring of the trials under the POCSO Act in a child friendly court with regard to the letter and spirit of the Act's provisions.

ANALYSIS

  • “It is necessary to issue certain directions so that the legislative intent and the purpose are actually fructified at the ground level and it becomes possible to bridge the gap between the legislation remaining a mere parchment or blueprint of social change and its practice of implementation in true essence and spirit is achieved.” held the court.
  • The Apex court issued following directions to The High Courts keeping in view the protection of children and the statutory scheme envisioned under POCSO Act. –
  1. The High Courts shall be responsible for ensuring that cases filed under the POCSO Act are tried and disposed by Special Courts, and that the presiding officers of those courts are trained in child protection and psychological response.
  2. The special courts should be established if not previously done so and should be given the role of dealing with the cases under POCSO Act.
  3. The Special Courts should be given instructions to fast track the cases by not granting needless adjournments and following the procedure outlined in the POCSO Act, so that the trial can be completed in a time­bound manner or within a certain time frame under the Act.
  4. The Chief Justices of the High Courts have been asked to form a three-judge committee to oversee and supervise the POCSO Act trials. The High Courts where three Judges are not available the Chief Justices of the said courts shall constitute one Judge Committee.
  5. A Special Task Force shall be constituted by the Director General of Police or a State officer of equivalent rank to ensure that the investigation is properly conducted and witnesses are produced on the dates fixed before the trial courts.
  6. Special Courts, keeping in view the provisions of the POCSO Act, to ensure that the spirit of the Act is upheld.

CONCLUSION

In this landmark judgement of the Apex court, the court has given guidelines to the high courts to make sure that there should be speedy trials of cases under POCSO Act and that the courts should be child friendly so that they can give their evidence freely. This was done to preserve the object od the Act which is to protect the child from many aspects so that he/she does not feel a sense of discomfort or fear also so they are not reminded of the horrified experience and the trauma.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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