Prerna Gala

Published on: September 20, 2022 at 19:44 IST

On Monday, the Supreme Court of India ordered the State Legal Services Authorities to create a plan within three months using the Delhi State Legal Services Authority’s plan as a model for the appointment of paralegals in police stations to handle POCSO offences.

Further ordering that the respective State governments and the Union government shall be in charge of disbursing funds for the scheme’s implementation was a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and MM Sundresh.

“Needless to mention, respondent State governments/Union government shall make available funds for implementation of scheme.”

A petition filed by the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan asking the court to direct the relevant authorities to immediately put the safeguards provided by child protection laws into effect was being heard.

The Delhi State Legal Services Authority’s plan regarding the appointment of Para Legal Volunteers (PLVS) in police stations in cases pertaining to offences against children was to be distributed to all State Legal Services Authorities so that it may be used as a model.

This was ordered by the court during the previous hearing on September 1.

The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA representative) told the court during the hearing that the Delhi Model had already been distributed to SLAs and USLAs.

He claimed that the finance was the more important problem than how the plan was structured.

“Framing can be done in three months’, funding is the bigger challenge”, he said.

“(States) Have to form scheme in 3 months….States will have to pay. Not willing to fund, but they have to fund”, the Bench asserted.

There is a National Database of Sexual Offenders, which was another issue raised in court. However, there are no instructions on how to utilize it.

The attorney who clarified the situation informed the bench of a recent incident in which a person who had previously committed two prior offences mistreated a 3-year-old child. He wished that Centre could be asked to draught recommendations in this regard.

As the hearing came to an end, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati informed the bench that the CJI Bench was now considering two PILs regarding programmes for young children, women, and other groups.

When the Bench heard this, it gave the order for the case to be listed before it.

The petition demanded that the State Legal Services Authorities be given instructions to designate PLVs at each police station in the respective States to help in situations of offences against minors.

The plea also requested the following reliefs:

  • Petitions submitted under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure in POCSO instances for court officers to act right away;
  • For the Central Government and NALSA to announce a plan for POCSO compensation, rehabilitation, welfare, and education, and for state governments to carefully follow the POCSO;
  • Act’s time restrictions; if they are unable to do so, they must provide justification to higher authorities.

Gang Rape of a 13-Year-Old Girl

Today, Principal District Judge Kanua presented a report to the court regarding the suffering of a 13-year-old Dalit minor girl who was brutally gang raped in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh, last year.

The girl appears to be content, making friends with other kids and paying attention to her academics, the Court observed after reading the report. Therefore, it concluded that the girl does not require additional action.

According to the appeal, the police agency had neglected to file the FIR as required. They had also threatened to bring terrible consequences upon the child and her family.

The National Legal Services Authority had earlier informed the Bench through the representation of its attorney that it had offered the girl’s family legal aid.

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