GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Women and Child Development
STARRED QUESTION NO. 161
ANSWERED ON DECEMBER 04, 2014
Protection Programme Under the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act
161. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government seeks to ensure protection of victims and witnesses under thePrevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, considering that in mostcases, witnesses are also children themselves, if so, the details thereof; and
(b) if not, then the reasons therefor and the means by which Government seeks to ensureeffective prosecution and adjudication under the POCSO Act?
MINISTER OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
(SHRIMATI MANEKA SANJAY GANDHI)
(a) & (b): A statement is laid on the table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PART (a) TO (b) OF RAJYA SABHASTARRED QUESTION NO. *161 FOR 04.12.2014 REGARDING PROTECTIONPROGRAMME UNDER THE POCSO ACT BY SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
(a) & (b): Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which came into effect from 14thNovember, 2012 is a comprehensive law to provide for the protection ofchildren from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, whilesafeguarding the interests of the child at every stage of the judicial process byincorporating child-friendly mechanisms for reporting, recording of evidence, investigationand speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts. The statement ofOBJECTS and REASONS of the POCSO Act, 2012 clearly mentions that "the interests ofthe child both as a victim as well as a witness need to be protected", thereby providingprotection of child victim as well as witness under this Act. On reporting of theoffence, care and protection is to be provided within 24 hours and matter is reported toChild Welfare Committee (CWC) within same period. The media is barred fromdisclosing the identity of the child unless specifically permitted by the Court. It shall beensured that child does not come into contact of accused and will not be detained atpolice station during night. The statement of the child will be recorded in the presence ofa parent or any person in whom child has trust or confidence. The Act specificallystipulates that the dignity of the child is maintained all the time.
In addition, provisions under other relevant legislations such as Juvenile Justice(Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and Amendment Act, 2006 (Section 21),Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, IndianEvidence Act, 1872 also takes care of protection of all victims and witnesses including achild.