The Top Court strongly noted that non-reporting of sexual assault of minors to cops is a heinous crime under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and informed the doctor to come for court trial for not detailing sexual exploitation of many minor tribal girls in a state students hostel of Maharashtra.
At the time of medical examination, the under age tribal students, few of them in the 3rd and 5th standards, had told the medical practitioner about their sexual exploitation by hostel superintendent of Infant Jesus English Public High School in the district of Chandrapur and four others. But the doctor didn’t inform the incident to protect the accused.
In June 2019 the cop had chargesheeted the five accused as also the medical practitioner under Pocso. Previously in this year, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court struck down the chargesheet against the medical practitioner after undertaking a complete and thorough verification of the statements of the survivors. The government of Maharashtra had appealed against the HC verdict at the top court.
“Prompt and proper reporting of the commission of offence under the Pocso Act is of utmost importance and we have no hesitation to state that failure to do so, even after coming to know about the commission of any offence thereunder, would defeat the very purpose and object of the Act” While giving permission for the appeal, Bench composed of Judges Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar noted.
“Non-reporting of sexual assault against a minor child despite knowledge is a serious crime and more often than not, it is an attempt to shield offenders of the crime of sexual assault” Noting the verdict striking the High Court order, Justice Ravikumar noted.
“We may say, we are not peeved, but certainly pained, as a legitimate prosecution under the Pocso Act has been throttled at the threshold by the exercise of power under Section 482 of the CrPC without permitting the materials in support to it to see the light of the day in respect of misprision of sexual assault against minor tribal girls in a girls’ hostel” The Top Court delivered.
The HC must have allowed the prosecution to cite proofs and its verifications at the time of trial instead of going through and prolonging the inquiry on its own, the top court noted.