New Delhi: On Friday, the Supreme Court faced a critical question of law. Can an individual incriminated of sexually harassing a mentally challenged woman obtaining the IQ level of an eight-year- old be registered under the convincing protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act which introduces life confinement as penalty?
A 38-year- old lady, having an IQ level of eight years and suffering from cerebral palsy from childhood, was professedly sexually abused by an influential and rich person. This event happened in the high class Defence Colony locality of South Delhi. The victim’s mother, a popular medical specialist, narrated the whole incident.
The victim’s mother has contributed largely as a commissioned medical officer in the Indian Army. She has also worked for several government health assignments. With the cooperation of advocate Aishwaria Bharti, she asked for a Delhi High Court judgement. But the court denied her appeal and transferred the sexual assault case to an authorized court under the protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. The act demands particular and considering evidences of mentally challenged individuals in the absence of the blamed person.
A bench comprising of justice Shiva Kriti Singh and Dipak Misra, registered notices to the government of Delhi and the main accused person, Santosh Kumar Yadav, querying for why the issue be not shifted to an authorized POCSO court.
The mother of the victim, informed the court that after experiencing the outrageous crime, her daughter suffered from severe mental trauma and her level of communication and understanding has reduced to that of a 3-4 year old child.
The wealthy accused individuals are still trying to attack the applicant and her mentally challenged daughter. The petitioner has reported to the local police about each consecutive attack. But the mother of the victim declared that they are not getting any kind of help from the police station.
Santosh Kumar Yadav, the accused person, was arrested in the year 2014. The case was transferred to the additional session’s judge of a fast track court in Saket but the court did not approve her appeal for in-camera recording of the victim’s statement about her suffering. Her mother’s attempt to videograph the statement was also refused.
Then she turned to the High Court for transferring the issue to a POSCO court and for recording her statement in the presence of neuro specialist and psychologist from AIIMS. However, the High Court only granted videography of the recording of the statement. The mother of the victim further moved to the Supreme Court for help.
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