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Minor's Deposition Should Be Completed Expeditiously, Bombay High Court Seeks Explanation From Trial Judge On Delay

Sharmeen Hakim
9 Feb 2022 4:05 AM GMT
Minors Deposition Should Be Completed Expeditiously, Bombay High Court Seeks Explanation From Trial Judge On Delay
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The Bombay High Court has said that in cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, where the victims are minor, the trial court should complete the deposition of the victim as expeditiously as possible."In cases where the victims are minor, POCSO Courts should atleast complete the examination of the victim/prosecutrix, as expeditiously as possible, lest the victims who...

The Bombay High Court has said that in cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, where the victims are minor, the trial court should complete the deposition of the victim as expeditiously as possible.

"In cases where the victims are minor, POCSO Courts should atleast complete the examination of the victim/prosecutrix, as expeditiously as possible, lest the victims who are minor forget the incident, due to passage of time, giving advantage to the accused," Justice Revati Mohite Dere observed in an order passed on February 2, 2022.
The court, in the case at hand, has also called for a report from the concerned trial court since there was no progress in the trial and only one witness had been examined despite the High Court passing an order to expedite the trial in 2019 itself.
The court was hearing a bail application filed by an accused for committing sexual assault on an 11-year-old. The accused had filed a bail application in 2019, which was later withdrawn as the court was not inclined to grant him bail. However, in that order on October 15, 2019, the HC had expedited the trial. A month after the first order, he filed another bail application which was heard only last week.
When the case came up for hearing, advocate for the accused pleaded that there was no progress in the trial despite it being expedited and that the accused required medical assistance as he was suffering from HIV. The lawyer produced medical papers and sought to be released on bail.
When the court sought to know the progress of the case, the prosecutor told the court that only one witness was examined before the trial court, which did not include the 11-year-old victim.
The court then observed that POCSO courts should try and examine a victim expeditiously, and called for a report from the concerned court. "Considering that there is no progress in the trial, a report be called for from the learned Sessions Judge, Court Room No.28, Greater Mumbai, to enable the learned Judge to submit his report, as to why there has been delay in the conclusion of the trial and why the prosecutrix has not been examined till date," the court noted.
The court also directed the Registry to forthwith communicate the order passed to the concerned court either telephonically/fax/e-mail or a Special Messenger to enable the Judge to submit a report.
The court also directed the prosecution to submit a report on the medical condition of the accused and adjourned the case for February 21, 2022.


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