Fri. Feb 26th, 2021
2 min read

While speaking at a seminar on awareness on child abuse held in Mumbai, Chief Justice Mohit S. Shah of Bombay High Court said “More than 53% children in India have faced sexual abuse. In Maharashtra, out of the 198 cases filed, only 38 cases have received conviction till now. This needs to change immediately, the pace of convictions under the POCSO Act needs to increase. We also need better implementation of the Act at the grassroots level and ensure that a level of sensitivity is adopted while dealing with the victims as the law and its procedures end- up intimidating the child. The procedures and environment need to be made more child friendly if we want to increase conviction in child abuse cases. In the end, the burden to prove innocence must lie on the offender and not the child.”

Ujjwal Uke, Principal Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Sex offenses involving children are crime against humanity as they scar the victims for life. Sexual abuse is more organized in nature, with perpetrators choosing their victims carefully. The Government has zero tolerance towards child sex offenders. We will ensure that immediate and certain action is taken in such cases. The focus has to be not on the quantum of punishment but the certainty of its delivery. While we chase the law and policy for better implementation, the first order of our priority should be ensuring the safety, stability and health of the victim.”

Furthermore, “DWCD, Maharashtra, is determined to take swift and exemplary action and bring justice to victims. Because of this determination, we have become the first state in India to achieve a conviction under the POCSO Act. We are not only incentivizing the victims to come forward and speak openly, but also focusing on ensuring the right training for personnel of Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees, to ensure there’s right implementation of the law. The discussions in this workshop will help us in even better understanding of the gaps at ground level, in regard to each stakeholder, and improve the implementation of procedures under the POCSO Act. We will also be presenting these to the central government.”

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