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Only 10.5% of 8904 child abuse cases disposed of in 2014; delayed police investigation

The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued notice to the central and city governments and the Delhi Commission for Women on a plea seeking expedition of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which deals with issue of child sexual abuse.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sought response from the central and Delhi governments, Delhi Police and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) by 9 March.

The plea filed by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s organization, also demanded a more robust redressal and rehabilitation programme for the victims.

The plea sought directions to the state police to complete investigation in cases registered under the POCSO act within a period of three months.

It also sought that failing this time-bound investigation, the state police be obliged to file a written report before the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) which should then issue necessary directions. The petitioner also sought monitoring of the rehabilitation and counselling of alleged victims of POCSO act under the supervision of the DCW and DLSA

“According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 8,904 cases of sexual offenses against children were reported in 2014 under POCSO Act. Of these, 7,970 cases are still lying pending pegging the pendency rate at a staggering 95 percent. Such an enormous delay, combined with apathy towards the victims beats the purpose of the act,” said senior advocate HS Phoolka appearing for the NGO

The plea also sought directions to the Juvenile Justice Committee of the high court to monitor all cases where the trial had not begun even after a year of the investigation being completed.

The POCSO act was notified in 2012 to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.

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