The Supreme Court recently expressed its disappointment over a national report showing that most of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) cases has been lying in neglect for a long time.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said that the report, submitted by Supreme Court registrar Surinder S Rathi shows a ‘shocking state of affairs’.
According to the national report, 99 per cent of minors who have been victims of rape and sexual assaults did not get the minimum compensation of Rs 4 lakh that is to be provided to them as per the POSCO Act.
Moreover, over 95 per cent of the victims have also not got any support persons – again a requirement under the POSCO Act- to provide them assistance so that they can overcome their trauma.
The apex court was also shocked over the fact that investigation of a number of POSCO cases have been not yet been completed.
The bench stated that the findings of the report indicate a serious breach of the law.
“This report shows a shocking state of affairs. What to talk of trials, in 20% of the cases even investigation is not completed within one year,” the bench added.
“Virtually, no support persons are provided and no compensation is paid to the victims. Almost two-third of the cases are pending trial for more than one year,” it further added.
The bench has now directed the state governments and the central government to take all possible steps to ensure that all the stages of investigation as well as trial, as contemplated under the POSCO Act, are completed within the required time frame.
The bench also directed the state governments and the central government to submit action taken reports which will now be heard by a bench presided over by Justice Deepak Gupta on December 12.