The Chattisgarh High Court, in the case of State of Chattisgarh v Dilip Verma, noted that the Additional Sessions Judge trying cases under the POCSO would have the same power as a Special Judge (POCSO) to award compensation to the victim.
In this case, the ASJ had convicted Dilip Verma under Sections 363 and 376(1) of the IPC read with Section 3 and 4 of the POCSO. In addition to being awarded rigorous imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs. 1000, he was also directed to pay Rs. 100000 as compensation to the victim.
The Court placed reliance on Section 33(8) of the POCSO which confers power on the Special Judge (POCSO) to direct payment of compensation to the victim for rehabilitation or the mental trauma caused. Reliance was also placed on sub-rules 1 to 6 of Rule 7 of the Rules of 2012 which to provide for compensating the victim. A conjoint reading of these provisions shows that the Special Judge (POCSO) is empowered to award compensation.
The Court further noted that the ASJ trying the offences under the POSCO also has the jurisdiction to award compensation to the victim.
Read the Order here.