Chennai

16 Special Public Prosecutors appointed to POCSO courts

In 2019, the Supreme Court had directed that special courts be set up in all districts with over 100 cases of child abuse and sexual assault pending trial under the POCSO Act.

The Prosecution Department announced the appointment of 16 Special Public Prosecutors (SPP) to try offences relating to the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act, 2012 in 16 special courts across the State.

The Supreme Court had, in its order dated January 8, 2020, called for all States to appoint exclusive public prosecutors in all courts that were exclusively set up for POCSO cases.

In 2019, the apex court had directed that special courts be set up in all districts with over 100 cases of child abuse and sexual assault pending trial under the POCSO Act.

Following this, the Tamil Nadu government had constituted 16 special courts in Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Chengalpet, Nagercoil, Madurai, Nagapattinam, Salem, Sivaganga, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Vellore, Villupuram and Srivilliputhur.

Vidya Reddy of Tulir, Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse, said that the SPPs have a key role in ensuring that child friendly measures, stipulated under the POCSO Act, are adopted and rights of the child protected.

She also stressed that SPPs were needed to enable appreciation of medical evidence and forensic reports .

“It is also hoped that the prosecutors will ensure a better application of Rule 7 of POCSO, which provides for interim compensation to meet the immediate needs of the affected child,” she said.

Enabling experiences for the child and family will ensure that the witness is robust, which will further encourage victims and their families to cooperate with prosecutors and view the criminal justice system with less trepidation and apprehension, Ms. Reddy said. She added that this was essential to ensure the child’s engagement with the criminal justice process.

“Moreover, successful convictions will provide victims a sense of empowerment and safety,” she added.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:47:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/16-special-public-prosecutors-appointed-to-pocso-courts/article30804827.ece

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