The Karnataka High Court has held that accused under POSCO trial cannot get benefit of release on bail merely on ground of non compliance of Section 35 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The petitions filed by the accused persons seeking bail were dismissed, a single judge had referred two issues before the division bench.
A Division Bench comprising Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice M.G. Uma observed that,” If for reasons beyond the control of the Special Court, the evidence of the child is not recorded within the period of thirty days of the Special Court taking cognizance of the offence, the same cannot lead to the accused being released on bail. The object and purpose of Section 35 of the POCSO Act is to ensure that the victim child is secured from the trauma of trial of the case at the earliest so that she or he could be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society at the earliest.”
The bench held that evidence recorded under Section 164 of Cr.P.C. cannot be considered to the evidence under Section 35 of the POCSO Act. The court said, “Section 164 of Cr.P.C., deals with recording of confessions and statements by any Metropolitan or Judicial Magistrate made to him in the course of an investigation, the same is relatable to Sections 25 and 26 of the POCSO Act.”
The Bench also directed the government that a dedicated unit had to be set up in every district hospital to attend to the child victim and provide proper medical facilities and whenever necessary referral to a private hospital be permitted.
The State is also directed to make available mental health professionals to every child to overcome the trauma and for rehabilitation and reintegration, at the government’s cost.