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Monday, December 24, 2012

Eyecatchers-164: Exclusive Law Ignored in Rape Case

Exclusive Law Ignored in Rape Case by P.V.Srividya in THE HINDU of Dec 24, 2012


Even as protests demanding stringent laws to deal with rape cases sweep the national capital, an exclusive law, already in force for protection of children from sexual offences, has been apparently overlooked by the police in the case of the rape of an 11-year-old girl here in Thalaignayar near here on Friday. The sexual assault was brought to light on Saturday, and the girl has since been admitted to the Thiruthuraipoondi Government Hospital, which is still awaiting consent for forensic tests.

Even though the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been in force since November, the police, instead of booking a case under this law, have filed the case under Section 450 (house trespass to commit an offence) and Section 376 (rape) of the IPC.

The enactment of the Act was seen as a watershed as it facilitates shifting of the burden of proof from the survivor to the accused. The Act mandates child-friendly procedures right from the beginning of the trial. The Act has been framed since the IPC does not cover all forms of sexual offence and it fails to distinguish between adult and child survivors.
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The Act is a powerful law and mandates the State to bear the costs of support services for the survivor, says Kannayan, a freelance consultant on child rights and former field officer under the Department of Social Defence. Pointing out that the law also provides for interim compensation during the trial period, he says the District Child Protection Officer should have taken a suo motu cognisance of the incident from media reports, visited the child and streamlined the investigation.”
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Excerpt from THE HINDU of Dec 24, 2012

Grateful thanks to P.V.Srividya and THE HINDU.

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