Mangalore, Oct 22, 2014 : According to POCSO Act, every district headquarters should have a special court exclusively meant for the trial of POCSO related cases. But do we have the needed facilities? The Act says that the child should not be made to confront the accused during trial, but how far is it practicable? Even as awareness is being created on Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, a great challenge lies before the government, legal fraternity and the society to develop infrastructure that is suitable for the effective implementation of the Act, said II Additional District and Sessions Judge C M Joshi.
He said there was a need to build a support system for the effective implementation of the Act and initial problems were quite natural when a new Act comes into existence and it might take some time to address the issues.
He was speaking after inaugurating a legal awareness programme on POCSO Act organised by Dakshina Kannada District Legal Services Authority and Mangalore Bar Association in association with Padi Valored, at CODP on October 21, Tuesday. Giving an example of how the courts suffer due to lack of infrastructure when check bounce cases were brought under Negotiable Instruments Act, the Judge said that the repercussion of the decision on the courts was gradually addressed. Thirty five per cent of the court cases in India are related to check bounce, he said.
Gender difference : Briefing about POCSO Act, Judge C M Joshi said that the very significant aspect of this Act was that the Act did not differentiate the sexual abuse victim based on gender. According to the Act, any form of sexual abuse on a child below the age of 18 irrespective of its gender, is considered as an offence.
“This is in contrast to the already existing sections under IPC that deal with only sexual harassments pertaining to girls/ women. ” POCSO Act has made a clear cut gradation on the severity of the offence. A sexual abuse on achild is considered as aggravated if it is committed by a person who has been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the child, be it a family member, teacher, warden, police, orphanage administrator and so on.
They are considered as aggravated offence and are more stringently punishable as the culprit has not only committed sexual offence, but also has breached the trust of the child. Showing pornography too is punishable under the Act and misuse of Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act too is punishable,” the Judge said.