Delhi HC CJ Issues Advisory For All POCSO Courts To Ensure Speedy Trials

Delhi HC CJ Issues Advisory For All POCSO Courts To Ensure Speedy Trials

The Chief Justice of Delhi High Court has issued an advisory to all POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) courts containing a string of recommendations to ensure speedy trial in cases of child sexual abuse.

The advisory has been issued on the recommendations of the Committee to Regulate and Monitor the Progress of trials under the POCSO Act, constituted after the Supreme Court last May directed all high courts to monitor and regulate trials in cases of sexual assault of children.

The advisory issued by the Delhi High Court Chief asks the POCSO courts to not grant adjournments as far as possible and to conduct speedy trial as it stresses on the POCSO courts to comply diligently with the provisions of Section 309 CrPC (power to postpone or adjourn proceedings) as far as possible and says that the statement of the child victim be recorded on a day-to-day basis.

To further ensure speedy trial, the advisory asked the Directorate of Prosecution, Delhi government, to ensure the presence of prosecutor in every POCSO case on each date of hearing without default.

With many incidents of lawyers boycotting accused in cases of child sexual abuse or the accused not being represented properly, the Chief Justice, in his advisory, also stated that the Delhi Legal Services may be requested to ensure the presence of legal aid counsel for the assistance of accused in the event of him being not legally represented.

The advisory also says that the courts may resort to provisions of admission/ denial of documents before the stage of framing of charges against the accused and that no accused be called upon to admit or deny any document unless represented by a counsel or through legal aid.

In cases where the genuineness of a document is not disputed by any party, the same may be read in evidence by the court without examining the author of the document provided the court may require the author or any other person to appear and answer the questions even in a case where the document is admitted.

Read the advisory here