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Delhi HC seeks affidavit from government on details of sexual assault cases under IPC, POCSO | Delhi News

The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi government to provide details on the status of sexual assault cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including the number and stage of trial of such cases relating to minors and adults.

A division bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Girish Kathpalia in its November 29 order also said that the government’s affidavit will also indicate the location of One Stop Centres (OSCs), the facilities provided and manpower deployed in each OSC, and the job to be performed by the personnel deployed at the OSC.

The high court was hearing two pleas, one of which was moved by the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 2016 seeking proper implementation of the POCSO Act, including the expeditious trial of cases pending before the lower courts related to sexual abuse of children.

The high court noted that an affidavit had been filed by the Delhi government nearly four years ago and therefore observed that it needed “updation”. It thereafter asked the Delhi government to file a fresh affidavit giving the actual position on the number of sexual assault complaints received under IPC and POCSO and those that were converted into FIRs.

The affidavit will also indicate the number of cases wherein charge sheets have been filed, cases which are undergoing trial, and which are at the stage of oral arguments, the high court said.

Festive offer

“The information with regard to the above will be given separately for adults and children,” the bench said.

Delhi government counsel Udit Malik said that counsellors had been appointed in the OSCs. The bench, however, said that it was not clear as to what the qualifications of these counsellors were and whether any psychologists and psychiatrists were appointed to deal with sexual assault cases.

“The number of counsellors deployed at each of the OSCs will also be indicated in the affidavit,” the high court said.

The bench further perused a previous affidavit filed by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), which referred to a proposal for creating 112 technical posts. The bench said it appeared that the technical posts were created for cyber forensics adding that there was no clarity “whether there are adequate number of forensic experts with biological aspects as their mainstay”.

“We would want information to be placed before us with regard to both sets of forensic experts. The affidavit will also indicate as to how many posts have been created and personnel deployed since the affidavit dated December 5, 2019, was filed in this court,” it said.

The bench also made it clear that the affidavit will be filed by the person or departments who are in charge and have dealt with each of these issues. If necessary, more than one affidavit can be filed for a granular view of the matter, it added.

The bench also appointed advocate Aparna Bhat as a local commissioner in the matter and asked her to visit OSCs and file a report with the court. The pleas are next listed on December 14.

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