Indore: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was enacted to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interest of the child at every stage of the judicial process.
Helping parents understand the act in a seminar held at SICA School on Thursday, an activist Vikas Nantiyal talked about legal aid. “Section 40 of the Act allows victims to access legal aid,” he said.
However, that is subject to Code of Criminal Procedure.
“In other words, the lawyer representing a child can only assist the Public Prosecutor, and file written final arguments if the judge permits,” Nantiyal said.
He further informed parents that a sexually abused child is considered as ‘child in need of care and protection’ under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
“Police officer should therefore inform the Child Welfare Committee about every case under the Act within 24 hours,” Nantiyal said. The committee appoints a support person for the child who will be responsible for psycho-social well-being of the child.
“This support person will also liaise with the police, and keep the child and child's family informed about progress in the case,” Nantiyal said.