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Gauhati High Court hopes Government will provide specific infrastructure for POCSO Courts

A division bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) N Kotisawa Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia

Gauhati High Court

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 May 2022 5:31 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: A division bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) N Kotisawa Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia "hopes and trusts that the State Government would come up with a specific plan of action and also the timeline for improvement/removal of the infrastructure of POCSO Courts deficiencies."

The Court then heard the PIL (60/2019) along with PIL (Suo Moto- 1/2018) and issued the order on Thursday.

The Court received a bunch of reports from various districts relating to the lack of infrastructure of POCSO Courts functioning in various districts that have been placed on record before this Court. The reports indicate the absence of proper facilities required for the POCSO Courts. This is also preceded by a compilation of reports in which a lack of certain amenities and facilities has also been indicated.

"These infrastructural deficiencies are required to be addressed primarily by the State Government," the Court said.

In this connection, the State Government prayed that copies of the reports be furnished so that the State Government will examine and take necessary remedial steps for the improvement of the infrastructure as indicated in these reports.

The government sought for two weeks to respond and furnish information as to the steps which will be required to be taken in this regard.

"We are also of the view that deficiencies, as indicated in the reports, need to be addressed immediately as the methodology of trial in POCSO Court is different from the normal criminal trial courts, specifically providing for a secure room for the child victim or the child witnesses as the case may be preventing any kind of audiovisual contact of the child victim with the accused etc.," the bench said, and added, "From the reading of the reports, we have also noted that in these critical areas there have been shortcomings which require to be immediately addressed. Accordingly, we would require the State Government to prepare an action plan and also the timeline for improvement/removal of the aforesaid deficiencies which have been already pointed out in the reports for which we grant (three) weeks time to the State Government. We also make it clear that it is an issue which requires urgent attention of the authorities concerned in the State Government as any delay in addressing these critical infrastructural deficiencies will adversely affect the justice delivery system as far as POCSO related cases are concerned which are to be avoided." The Court listed the matter again on June 14, 2022.

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