Exclude love affairs from Pocso ambit: Karnataka High Court Judge
It is high time for UNICEF and the state to have proper legislation to implead such parents as the accused in criminal cases so that most child abuse cases will be stopped.
Published: 06th November 2022 03:02 AM | Last Updated: 06th November 2022 03:02 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: Pointing out two tendencies being witnessed frequently by courts while dealing with the custody of a child in matrimonial cases and Pocso cases arising out of love affairs, Justice B Veerappa, the judge of the Karnataka High Court, said on Saturday that is high time to pass proper legislation to implead the father and mother as accused in criminal cases related to child abuse and to exclude love affair cases involving minors from the purview of Pocso Act.
He was speaking at the state-level Multi Stakeholders Consultation on Implementation of Pocso Act, 2012, organised by the Juvenile Justice Committee, Karnataka High Court, in coordination with the Karnataka Judicial Academy, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Enfold Proactive Heath Trust and UNICEF.
“There is a need for legislative changes where love affair cases are considered different from the cases of sexual child abuse under the Pocso Act,” said Justice Veerappa, who is also chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority.
He said that judges, dealing with cases involving child custody in matrimonial disputes, are frequently witnessing that the children are being harassed by their educated parents who are burying the interest of their children due to their egos.
It is high time for UNICEF and the state to have proper legislation to implead such parents as the accused in criminal cases so that most child abuse cases will be stopped. “I hope and trust that a meaningful deliberation will take place on the issue”, he said.
19,145 cases reported in the state
N Manjula, secretary of the Department of Women and Child Development, said there was a 16.2 per cent increase in crimes against children in 2020-21 during the Covid pandemic.
In all, 36 per cent of crimes against children are under Pocso Act, as per the data of the National Crime Records Bureau. Since the Pocso Act was enacted in 2012, Karnataka has recorded 19,145 cases under the Act as of August 2022, she said.