High Court Demands Accountability for unreasonable Bail Decision in POCSO Case

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LI Network

Published on: 03 September 2023 at 17:12 IST

The Delhi High Court has instructed its registrar to prepare a report following an inquiry into why a trial judge granted bail to a defendant in a POCSO case in what was described as a “purely mechanical manner.”

The court emphasized that in cases involving sexual offenses, the reputation and future of the victim are at stake, which have been severely affected.

Justice Saurabh Banerjee, while directing that the report be submitted to the high court’s ‘Inspecting Judges Committee,’ overturned the bail order, emphasizing that such cases must be handled with great care in the interest of justice.

The accused, charged with sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl, was arrested in October 2021, and the trial court released him on bail in February 2023.

The high court stated in a recent order, “A review of the impugned order… reveals that the learned Trial Court has granted bail to the accused in a purely mechanical manner without expressing any opinion or without applying judicial scrutiny to the facts and merits of the case.

This is contrary to the fundamental requirements for granting bail to an accused, especially in this case.”

“When handling matters involving sexual offenses, the court must be aware that incidents of sexual violence against children (or women) in society always involve the life and well-being of a child (or woman). What is at stake is the dignity and future of the victim, which has been compromised and shattered into pieces,” the high court remarked.

Justice Banerjee noted that such incidents at a “young age” are likely to have negative repercussions on the overall development and growth of the victims.

The judge also pointed out that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act was enacted to safeguard the interests of children and that when considering bail, the court must determine whether there is a prima facie case against the accused.

The court found the trial court’s order in this case to be “unreasonable, cryptic, ambiguous, and contrary to established legal principles.”

The high court ordered, “The Registrar (Vigilance) of this Court is directed to request an explanation on the administrative side from the concerned Judge regarding the reasons for issuing the non-reasoned impugned order.

The report shall be submitted to the relevant Hon’ble Inspecting Judges Committee of this Court within one week for their consideration.”

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