At least four sexually abused children are deprived of justice every day in India, according to a new investigative report.
On the other hand, about 3,000 complaints of child sexual abuse do not reach the courts.
According to a new investigative report, at least four children who are sexually abused every day in India are deprived of justice. On the other hand, about 3,000 complaints of child sexual abuse do not reach the courts.
The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said in an investigative report that police fail to gather any evidence on 3,000 complaints of sexual abuse against children each year. These cases are closed before they reach the court.
This investigative report is based on data obtained between 2017 and 2019 by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the Indian government’s crime statistics agency.
The report said that most of the cases registered under POSCO, a special law designed to curb crimes against children, are closed without the police filing a charge sheet. Before closing cases of child sexual abuse, the police usually write, “the case was correct but the evidence was insufficient.”
The investigation report said that according to the case reports submitted to the courts, 43% of the cases were closed on this basis in 2019 before any action was taken. This number is higher than in 2017 and 2018.
The second biggest reason for police to close cases is “incorrect reporting.” However, the number of cases closed on this basis has decreased in recent years. Cases were closed before they reached court, but in 2019 the number dropped to 33 per cent.
The POCSO law was enacted in 2012. It aims to severely punish perpetrators of sexual exploitation of children under the age of 18. Under the law, sexual exploitation cases must be completed within a year, as if the victim had received justice within a year. However, this rarely happens.
The KSCF said in its report that even in cases registered under the POCSO Act, the decision rate is only 34% due to which the burden of POCSO cases on the courts is continuously increasing.
The report said that the government had announced the establishment of a fast track court in 2018 to provide speedy justice in child sexual abuse cases but it has not been implemented yet.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi Foundation lamented the situation, saying, “Although the government recognizes the importance of a special law to deal with crimes against children, it has enacted a law called POCSO. But I am very disappointed that it has not been implemented properly. ”
The report added that the central and state governments need to take special measures and pay attention to provide better protection for children, both in their homes and in society.
The investigation report states that one of the major reasons for not resolving cases of sexual exploitation of children is that the affected children belong to the poor and backward classes. They are easily coerced into changing statements by greed and intimidation. This task becomes even easier if the accused belongs to a wealthy family or is powerful.