CHENNAI: The first bench of the Madras High Court has directed the District Legal Services Authority to provide counselling to an 11-year-old gang rape victim through the District Child Welfare Committee, within 24 hours.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee gave the directive, when A P Suriyaprakasam of Royapettah, an advocate, and A Narayanan of Virugambakkam, an activist, made mention before her on Wednesday.
Since the police are seized of the matter and registered cases, including the one at Tiruvannamalai, where a Russian woman was gang-raped, the court need not take action suo-motu, the Chief Justice said.
Narayanan said as per section 19(6) of POCSO Act, the police should have intimated the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) about the incident relating to the rape of the child at Ayanavaram, within 24 hours.
But, even after four days, the CWC and the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) have no clue about the whereabouts of the child victim. There is an urgent need for psychological counselling, medical treatment and relief and rehabilitation of the victim girl through the CWC, he said. He also brought to the notice of the Chief Justice that due to the multiplicity of litigations before the courts, no appointments were made to CWCs in all the 32 districts for the past three years.
Replying to another issue raised by ‘Traffic’ K R Ramaswamy, another activist, the Chief Justice said the bench was aware of the unfortunate incident of some advocates thrashing the accused in the child rape case on the lower court premises in the High Court campus on July 17 and added that action will be taken.