Mangaluru: Revealing Identity in Juvenile cases Punishable Under POCSO Act – Judge N S Patil

Mangaluru: Juvenile crime review meeting and information workshop for police officers was held at the Police community hall, here on August 20.

Earlier to the meeting a workshop was conducted by Roweena and Somashekar. Addressing the police officers, Principal Senior Civil Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mangaluru N S Patil, said that many police come to the court with the juveniles without following proper rules. We need to follow the rules while producing juveniles to the court.

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As per the JJ Act, SJPUs will be constituted in every district and city. The purpose of the units is to enable police who deal with juveniles to be better equipped with knowledge and procedures on dealing with children in conflict with law. The act provides a police officer in every police station who is trained as a juvenile or child welfare officer.

As per the provisions of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) each SJPU should have two supporting social workers. When the child is taken into custody the child welfare officer should escort the child and within 24 hours he should be produced before the court.

Identity of the child who committed crime should not be disclosed. Even the parents name, address or any other information about the juvenile, if anyone violates the law, they will be punishable. The media also should not disclose the names or the photograph of the juvenile. The juvenile will get bail and it is mandatory to get bail. In the juvenile case the accused will not go to the jail, he will be sent to the observation room.

He also said that if the juvenile comes out on bail, and there is a threat to his life, he can be given protection. In Juvenile case if anyone comes for evidence we will not send them back, instead we will record the statement. In some cases the juvenile will be sent to the observation room. The maximum punishment will be for three years, in these three years the juvenile will be sent to community service, it is a method of punishment and we will send the juvenile to Bengaluru for community service. If the victim or offender will be taken directly to the judge, the statement will be recorded without delay.

When asked about escorting the child in such cases by the police officer, he said that the child should not be afraid during investigation. In specific cases we will not allow the child to obtain bail, in that situation the police should put a clause that the child has threat from others or any threat to others from the juvenile, so that the juvenile will be given protection.
SP Dr Sharanappa said that children who are below the age of 18, and commit crime will be treated as juveniles. As per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2006) State governments are required to establish Child Welfare Committee in every district. The government has made changes in the Juvenile act, government has formed the Juvenile justice court. In every station we have identified a PSI and trained them to deal with juvenile cases.

Juvenile delinquency in DK district is very low, in 2013 there were only 9 cases, in 2014 there were 7 cases and in 2015 so far there are only 4 registered cases. He also said that a news daily published the name of the accused, address, parents name, which is a crime according to the juvenile act. The accused was minor but the name and address of the child was published. In such cases the media will also be punished. There is an order from the higher officers that no police officers will give any message to the media, only the SP and higher officers have the right to reveal the news to the media and not others.

SP also urged the media to avoid revealing the identity of juveniles. He also said that if any media publishes the photo or reveals the identity, they will also be punished under the POCSO act.

He also said that at present 180 juvenile cases has been pending out of which 100 cases are under inquiry and 80 cases are under investigation. We are hearing 20 cases everyday. 70% of the juvenile crimes are runaway cases. Section 33 (8), of the Act provides for the Award of compensation by the Special Court for any physical or mental trauma caused to the Child or for immediate rehabilitation of the child. Rule 7 of the POCSO Rules 2012, also requires that the compensation awarded by the Special Court is to be paid by the State Government from the Victim Compensation Fund or other scheme or fund established by it for the purpose of compensating and rehabilitating victims under Section 357 A, of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other laws for the time being in force, or where such fund or scheme does not exist, by the State Government.

Police officer S Kumar, CWD officer Roweena and other police officers were also present.

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