The Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on February 28, 2019, has issued an advisory to all POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) courts.
The advisory has been issued on the recommendations of the “Committee to Regulate and Monitor the Progress of the trials under the POCSO Act,” constituted after a Bench of Supreme Court comprising of then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud in May last year directed High Courts to set up committees of three judges to “regulate and monitor” trials in cases of sexual assault against children.
Following are the advisory issued by the Delhi High Court Chief Justice:-
- Resort to be made to the provision of admission/denial of documents in the course of any inquiry, trial or proceedings. It is mandatory for the courts to comply with this procedure before the stage of framing of charge against a person accused of an offence and it shall be open to the accused to call upon the Investigation Officer/Complainant/Witness to admit/deny any document on which he seeks to place his defence. Provided that no accused shall be called upon to admit/deny any document unless he is represented by his Counsel or through Legal Aid.
- In case where the genuineness of a document filed by either side is not disputed by the prosecution or the accused, such document may be read in evidence by the court without examining as a witness the author of such document. Provided that the court may, in its discretion require the author or any other person to appear and answer the questions even in a case where a document has been admitted.
- Provisions of Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, be complied with diligently by the trial courts as far as possible and the statement of the child victim be recorded on a day-to-day basis.
- The Delhi Legal Services Authority to be requested to ensure the presence of legal aid counsel for the assistance of accused in the event of the accused being not legally represented.
- The Directorate of Prosecution, Delhi government, to ensure the presence of prosecutor in every POCSO case on each date of hearing without default.
Read the official document below.