Guwahati, July 19, 2021: The Gauhati High Court while responding to a PIL has observed that there should be a child-friendly court where matters pertaining to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are taken up.
On being informed that there is no child-friendly Court in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Mansh Rajan Pathak requested the Advocate General to take up this matter with the State Government so that as early as possible at least one child-friendly Court can be constructed and made functional in the state.
This suggestion was made by the Court in connection with an order by a district court asking the Child Care Institute (CCI) in Roing to hand over a minor rape survivor to the sister-in-law of the accused.
Pursuant to an order, the survivor has been medically examined by the medical board and the report highlighted that she was between 14 to 16 years of age at the time of examination.
Therefore, the state authority was directed to provide police protection and the concerned Deputy Commissioner was directed to visit the CCI, Roing and conduct an enquiry with regard to the facilities available in the CCI.
Finding that the CCI at Roing had a capacity to accommodate 50 children along with proper hygienic, the Court said that it will be in the interest of justice that the minor girl stay there for the time being.
At the same time, agreeing to the submissions of the senior counsel for the Gauhati High Court, that sub-rule 18 of Rule 54 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 mandates that there shall be a child-friendly Court where matters regarding POCSO are taken up, the Court requested the learned Advocate General to take up this matter with the State Government.