HYDERABAD: Stating that more and more victims are coming forward to lodge complaints after the POCSO Act came into effect, Ujjal Bhuyan, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court on Saturday said that it was imperative that the interest of the child, both as a victim as well as a witness, is protected.
Justice Bhuyan was making the opening remarks after inaugurating a convergence meeting on POCSO at the State Judicial Academy in Hyderabad.
“It’s undeniable that crime against children is a significant issue, but since the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was passed in 2012, victims and family members are speaking up. The higher numbers reflect this,” Justice Bhuyan said. He said that the child’s interests need to be protected in both their capacities as a witness and a victim. In order to serve as an effective deterrent, crimes against children needed to be clearly defined and punished accordingly.
“Among those who responded, 99.6% called for the passage of a special law to address child sexual abuse. The government’s decision to enact the POCSO Act was driven by other causes as well as this public perception and understanding,” he said.
The purpose of the POCSO Act, as stated in the preamble, is to protect children from crimes including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography. It also establishes a Special Court for the trial of such crimes as well as cases that are related to or incidental to them.
The event was attended by Justice Shameem Akther and Justice Vinod Kumar of the Telangana High Court, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, DGP Mahender Reddy, Registrar General and Registrars of the High Court, director, faculty and officials of the Judicial Academy, among others.