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Bombay HC says delay in sexual abuse trials can lead to re-victimisation

The order said, in several cases, the child/victim is not examined for years and, therefore, it was imperative to issue directions to special courts conducting trials with relation to cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 09:51 AM IST

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Mumbai: Delay in trials in sexual abuse cases often leads to re-victimization and ignominy as the trial process itself makes the victim re-live the horrific experience, and in case of children it may lead to further trauma due to their vulnerability, the Bombay High Court said.

A single bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere, in an order of April 1 that was made available on Friday, said delay in recording the depositions of the victim would bring back the memories which the child/victim would want to forget, thus adding to the trauma.

The order said, in several cases, the child/victim is not examined for years and, therefore, it was imperative to issue directions to special courts conducting trials with relation to cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Justice Dere said all special courts shall record the evidence of the victim as expeditiously as possible and at the earliest and conclude the recording of evidence of the victim preferably on the same day.

"The courts have to also ensure the victim/child is not called frequently to court, as this would add to their trauma. When the victim is being examined then all child friendly practices must be adopted to ensure he or she feels safe, is comfortable and is not in any way exposed to the accused," the HC said.

The order was passed by Justice Dere while hearing a bail plea filed by an accused, arrested in a POCSO Act case, on the ground that he is HIV positive.

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Published on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 09:51 AM IST