Nation Current Affairs 06 Feb 2017 Karnataka: Plan for ...

Karnataka: Plan for child-friendly court rooms

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 6, 2017, 2:05 am IST
Updated Feb 6, 2017, 6:18 am IST
It was also pointed out that when children are involved, there is a dire need for them to be familiarised with the court proceedings.
The courtroom is a scary place for the children, says Shohini Banerjee, member of IProbono, a civil organisation. (Representational image)
 The courtroom is a scary place for the children, says Shohini Banerjee, member of IProbono, a civil organisation. (Representational image)

Bengaluru: "Child-friendly courtrooms are needed. Karnataka Legal Services Authority, Juvenile Justice Committee are drawing up plans to have at least one child friendly courtroom in Bengaluru, keeping necessary guidelines under effect," said Ms. Uma MG, member of the Karnataka Legal Services Authority, speaking at a panel discussion on the litigation of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act on the final day of the National Consultation on POCSO act held in National Law School of India University in the city on Sunday.

She also added that Karnataka had organised orientation for special court judges and will be organising several other orientations for special judges under the Juvenile Justice Act and POCSO. "There is no procedure for reimbursement of compensation and the quantum of compensation is not exhaustively done on time," she said.

 

The deliberations today focused on litigating POCSO, perspectives from the judiciary on loopholes in the criminal justice system that prevent swift justice for survivors; strengthening capacity of key stakeholders like police, judiciary, lawyers, medical professionals and counselors who play crucial roles in the response to these crimes.

"We must realise that judges are part of the society too. They are lawyers first and there is no magic wand that will suddenly make them in a day. The mindset of the society needs to change. The court must have a balance and judges are bound by evidence, largely," told Ms Geetanjali Goyal from the Delhi Legal Services Authority, to the gathering. The panelists also discussed about the need for a witness protection program for not only the victim but also the family to which he or she belongs and not to keep the child waiting on the day of her evidence.

 

It was also pointed out that when children are involved, there is a dire need for them to be familiarised with the court proceedings. "The courtroom is a scary place for the children. Pre courtroom visits will be helpful to the children especially the older ones. Another thing that needs to go hand in hand is the understanding that the nature of the testimony is not always going to be constant, especially if the incident occurred several months ago. During deposition, cross examination must keep in consideration the age and understanding of the child. ," said Shohini Banerjee, member of IProbono, a civil organisation.

 

Conclusions

  • Effectively implement the provisions of the POCSO Act instead of pushing for amendments.
  • Welcome reporting of cases under the POCSO Act - it is a sign of awareness and a step forward considering the culture of silence around Chid Sex Abuse.
  • Child pornography, cyber bullying and sexting are challenges presented by ICTs and we need to have laws and systems in place to deal with them.
  • Effectively implement the provisions of the POCSO Act instead of pushing for amendments.
  • Minimize the number of times a child has to repeat her statement. The statement under Section 164, CRPC should be admitted as chief.
  • Need for monitoring indicators to assess the utilization of budgets on child protection and effectiveness of capacity building programs.

 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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