Madras HC directs Schools to keep Complaint Box after Convicting a Pastor under POSCO Act

Minor girl crying. Hnads on her forehead. Black and white background

Greeva Garg–

Madras High Court has made certain recommendations to the School Authorities to be ensured for the safety of children in schools. 

These recommendations come after convicting a pastor under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act in a sexual assault case.

The pastor was accused of sexual assault of a 12-year-old student of CSI Hobert Girls Higher Secondary School, after which the Patna High Court upheld his conviction.

The pastor was residing in a house within the school campus provided to him by the CSI Church committee.

The vacation bench headed by Justice P Velmurugan made a certain recommendation for Schools to be followed and opined that, “It is directed to keep a Complaint Box at every School to make the victims complain about the sexual assault freely and keys of the same should be under the control of the Secretary District Legal Services Authority. The Secretary, District Legal Services Authorities are directed to inspect the complaint box along with the District Social Welfare Officer once a week and enquire into the same, if prima facie reveals any sexual offence, forward the same to the Station House Officers concerned to proceed further.”

Also Read: Past sexual experience does not imply consent, says Delhi court in rape case

The incident of sexual assault occurred when the pastor invited the girl student at his house to narrate a story on Jesus. The girl narrated the incident to her friend. The friend of the victim informed the victim’s parents about the same.

Consequently, the police complaint was registered by the victim’s parents alleging the pastor for his shameful acts.

The Court noted that “Often students are afraid to report incidents of sexual harassment against teachers or management of schools under the fear of their future academic prospects being adversely affected. To ensure that the schools remain a safe place for students and to prevent the repetition of such unfortunate incidents, strict actions should be taken by school authorities.”

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