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HomeWorldNon-reporting of sexual assault against minors with knowledge is serious offence: SC...

Non-reporting of sexual assault against minors with knowledge is serious offence: SCAchi News

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that not reporting the sexual assault of a minor despite knowledge is a “serious crime” and an attempt to protect the perpetrators.

The Supreme Court held that prompt and proper reporting of offenses under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act is crucial and failure to do so defeats the purpose and intent of the Act.

The Supreme Court quashed the Bombay High Court’s order in April last year quashing the FIR and charge sheet against the medical practitioner who, knowing that several minor girls had been sexually assaulted in the hostel, did not inform the authorities.

A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and CD Ravikumar said it is true that the FIR and charge sheet are still pending against the other accused in the case.

“But failure to report sexual assault against a minor child despite knowledge is a serious offence, and more often than not, it is an attempt to protect the perpetrators of the crime of sexual assault,” the bench said in its 28 pages. Judgment.

The Supreme Court ruled on an appeal filed by the Maharashtra government through the police against the High Court verdict.

Referring to the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court, the bench said, “It is an unfortunate case that the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are given sacred trust. A mockery of the Parliament and the appellant.”

“To borrow those words, we can say, we are not angry, but certainly hurt, that under another law, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012, has been thrown at the door of the exercise. Under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), minor tribal girls in girls’ hostels. The bench said by not allowing the materials that support the misrepresentation of sexual assaults against.

Section 482 of the CrPC deals with the inherent powers of the High Court.

The Supreme Court observed that an FIR had been registered in the matter on allegations of sexual offenses against the students of a school in Rajura and minor tribal women residing in its girls’ hostel.

It noted that the medical practitioner against whom the High Court had delivered the judgment was made the sixth accused in the case for failing to report the offense in compliance with the statutory duty under the POCSO Act. Provision of law.

The bench noted that during the investigation, it was found that 17 minor girls were allegedly abused and a medical practitioner was appointed for the treatment of the girls admitted to the hostel.

It is the police case that some of the 17 victims have testified that they had informed a medical practitioner about the sexual assault on them.

The Supreme Court observed that the exercise of power under Section 482 of CrPC is the exception and not the rule and it should be exercised to provide real and substantial justice to the administration vested only in the courts.

The bench said that the provisions of the POCSO Act are intended to ensure that such criminals do not escape and are properly booked.

“To achieve the stated objective, a statutory duty to report an offense under the POCSO Act is imposed on a person, if he comes to know that an offense under the Act has been committed, to inform the concerned authorities specified thereunder,” it said. .

The bench said that in a case under POCSO Act, the medical examination of the victim and the accused will provide many important clues.

It said: “There can be no two opinions that medical evidence has the most persuasive value in relation to sexual offences.”

If the material collected during the course of the FIR and investigation discloses the commission of the prima facie case under the provisions of the POCSO Act, the veracity, sufficiency or admissibility of the evidence are not matters falling within the scope of exercise of power under Section 482. of CrPC and no doubt they are matters to be done by the trial Court during the trial.

While allowing the appeal, the High Court’s judgment quashed the FIR and chargesheet as “prosecution-inducing” at the door, without allowing material in support of it to see the light of day, can’t be said. As an exercise in safeguarding the interests of justice.

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