Woman IPS officer in every district: Kerala HC issues directives on POCSO cases

Woman IPS officer in every district: Kerala HC issues directives on POCSO cases
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Kochi: The Kerala High Court has instructed that a woman IPS officer should be designated in every district to monitor the probe of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases.

They should ensure that officers, who have been trained in juvenile justice principles, are probing the case. If women officers are not available, then other IPS officers should be designated.

The single bench of the HC further said that the statements of the children should be recorded only if they are physically and psychologically fit.

The court issued the directives, while rejecting a plea submitted by a Kanjiramattom native, Abhishek, against the sentence awarded to him by the Ernakulam POCSO court for sexually assaulting a minor boy.

The HC further said that one-stop support centres should be started for helping the victims in POCSO cases. These centres should have facilities to carry out all the procedures of medical examination, recording statements and trial.

The HC also directed the government to appoint a nodal officer to implement the provisions of the POCSO Act within two months.

Other directives

• Nodal officer would be tasked with coordinating various activities, including the training for the police officers in juvenile justice principles. The High Court registry should take steps to train the judicial officers.

• The government should consider deploying child protection and child welfare officers in the police.

• The vacancies at the forensic lab should be filled.

• Special public prosecutors should be recruited based on their expertise and qualification.

• The magistrate or the police officer should ensure that the child's statements have been audio- or video-recorded

• The government should take steps to disburse compensation for the victims.

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