Sexual offences and registration of FIR against sexual offences should be reported without delay, Laishram Rina Devi, secretary, District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), Tamenglong, said while suggesting strategies to ensure effective implementation of POCSO Act.
The legal expert also suggested ascertaining whether the person who is alleged to have committed any offence under the POCSO Act is an adult or child; to identify procedure to be adopted; to classify the alleged offences and determine exact age of the Child Conflict with Law on the date of commission of alleged offences so as to ascertain whether preliminary assessment is to be conducted in case of heinous offences, etc.
Rina Devi was speaking at the one-day online sensitisation programme held on Friday on the topics: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act: An Overview; Role of Police under POCSO Act; Role of Prosecution for Speedy Disposal of Cases under POCSO Act and Strategies for Effective Implementation of POCSO Act, under the sponsorship of Manipur State Legal Services Authority under the aegis of National Legal Services Authority.
The secretary said that if the person who is alleged to have committed offences under POCSO Act is a child, then such minor child, who is in conflict with law, shall be dealt with under the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015.
Seize the age proof certificate of the accused/CCL and victim so as to ascertain whether the person alleged to have committed offences shall be produced before the special court under POCSO Act or JJB concerned under the JJ Act, she added.
District and Sessions Judge, Tamenglong cum chairman, DLSA, Tamenglong, N Rajnikanta Singh, with regards to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act: An Overview, spoke on salient features of the Act, including sexual offences like penetrative sexual assault; aggravated penetrative sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault; sexual harassment; use of child for pornographic purposes and storage of pornographic material involving child.
Singh further spoke on the procedure for reporting of cases and recording statements of the child by police and magistrate, medical examination of children, procedure and powers of the Special Court, etc.
He appealed to all the investigating officers, including women investigating officers, to investigate cases under the Act carefully and cautiously and follow the provisions as provided under the Act for proper investigation and speedy disposal of the cases, he said.
Additional SP Tamenglong, P Gwite spoke on the topic, “Role of Police under POCSO Act” and stated that POCSO Act is a special legislation enacted for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and both the accused/child in conflict with law and victim are gender neutral.
He also highlighted on the role of police upon receiving information of sexual offences under the Act, for medical examination of the accused/child in conflict with law and victim, referral of child victim to child welfare committee concerned and recording of statement of child etc.
Assistant public prosecutor, Lamneichong Haokip, spoke on the topic, “Role of Prosecution for speedy disposal of cases under POCSO Act” and emphasized on the quality of the witnesses and not the quantity of the witnesses so as to prove the guilt of the accused. Co-operation and co-ordination among the stakeholders are required for speedy disposal of cases under the POCSO Act, she added.
The sensitisation was attended by Peter Namsadai, additional SP, Noney; Lamneichong Haokip, Asst. Public Prosecutor; AG Chingkhiugong, president, District Bar Association, Tamenglong; Daniel P Kamsuan, vice-president, District Bar Association, Tamenglong; Members of CWC and JJB under the jurisdiction of Tamenglong and Noney, Police Personnel of Tamenglong and Noney and PLVs of Tamenglong and Noney.