Days 9-13 ArgumentsPOCSO Implementation
September 17th – October 3rd
On July 25th 2019, the Bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose had directed all States to ensure that exclusive POCSO courts are set up within 60 days in every district where more than 100 cases have been registered under the POCSO Act. Further, the Bench had also directed the concerned authorities to ensure that all existing Forensic Science Laboratories are functioning in an effective manner.
Setting up exclusive POCSO Courts
In the hearing on 25 September 2019, the state of Rajasthan submitted that it had set up designated POCSO courts in all districts. The Bench expressed its appreciation for the state’s efforts and also hoped that other states will follow suit. On October 1th 2019, the Bench directed all states as well as the Registrar Generals of all High Courts to file a status report on POCSO Courts by November 7th 2019. These status reports have to be filed on the personal affidavits of the concerned authorities and should also spell out the following details:
- Number of Districts in the State
- Number of Districts in which the POCSO cases are more than 100
- Number of Districts where POCSO cases are more than 200 or multiples of 200
- Number of exclusive POCSO Courts already functioning
- Number of POCSO Courts actually notified
- Number of Special Public Prosecutors, if any, exclusively assigned for POCSO Courts.
States have to also file a status report on the functioning of the Forensic Science Laboratories by the same date.
Unnao Rape Trial
On July 31th 2019, the Bench had tagged the matters relating to the alleged rape of a minor girl by a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly to the suo moto petition dealing with the implementation of POCSO Act. The Bench, on 1 August 2019, passed a number of directions in relation to this matter, including an expedited investigation and trial.
On September 25th 2019, the Bench granted further time for the CBI to complete its investigation in one of the matters – R.C.No.12/2019. Further, the Bench also acceded to a request by the trial judge for granting more time to finish the trials.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) matter
On October 3th 2019, the Bench reserved judgment in the NCPCR matter.
On 5 August, the court tagged National Commission for Protection of Child Rights v. Rajesh Kumar, a 2017 special leave petition. The central issue is whether child trafficking is a national matter and thus an exception to Section 13(2), which bars the National Commission from enquiring into any matter pending before a State Commission. The court chose to tag the matter because under a 4 January 2018 order issued in the case, all states must report the court on whether they have appointed Special Public Prosecutors under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.