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PDLSA discusses disclosure of victims of sexual assault

By EMN Updated: Feb 03, 2020 11:34 pm
Officials and participants at the meeting on disclosure of victim of sexual assault, on February 3, in Phek.

Dimapur, Feb. 3 (EMN): In collaboration with the district police of Phek, the Phek District Legal Service Authority (PDLSA) conducted on February 4 a meeting to discuss matter concerning ‘disclosure’ of victims of sexual assault, and matters concerning pre-arrest, arrest and remand, investigation and trials, in the DRDA’s conference hall in Phek.

Mezivolu T Therieh, the chairperson of the PDLSA, spoke about the right to free legal aid in pre-arrest, arrest and remand, and criminal investigation and trials, updates informed.

Therieh was stated to have highlighted that the police and the judiciary would lose its relevance if “we fail to win the trust of the public by delivering justice without delay.”

She said that the court and police should see that the provisions of the law are implemented be it for the accused or for the victims of crimes. ‘We have no choice to disobey it,’ the gathering was told, according to the updates.

Therieh said that Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees right to free legal aid and assistance to accused persons. It is essential that access to justice is available at all stages of the criminal process, she said.

The official also talked about the provisions of arrest under Section 41, 41 B and 41 D of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

When arresting women, procedures should not overlap and due care should be taken, she said. In case the “arrestee” wants to avail legal assistance, the Phek DLSA is ready to provide assistance, she said.

The official also emphasised on the need to improve investigation and corroborate evidence ‘which will, in turn, help the court to give complete justice.’

Vesupra Kezo, superintendent of Phek Police, spoke on the topic for Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) of 2012 and the Amendment Act 2019. The officer mentioned that 90% of POCSO cases are unreported. The police officer urged the police to take such reported cases of children “very seriously since with so much difficulty such cases are reported,” and that “non-registration” of such cases entail punishment as provided for by the Act.

With the amendment of the POCSO Act, punishment has been enhanced to the death penalty, the official said.

Kezo said the Act is meant for children of both genders.

“He said the best interest of the child and protection of the identity of the child should be given utmost care. He stressed on Section 23 of the POCSO Act and mentioned that in no way should the identity of the victim be disclosed nor lower the child’s reputation,” the updates stated.

He informed the police about the Child Welfare Committee, the Juvenile Justice Board and the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Altogether 23 police officers including investigating officers from all the six police stations in Phek district registered for the programme, the updates stated.

The Longleng district legal services authority also conducted a programme to educate people about the various aspects of the Motor Vehicle Act of 2019 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012 with students of Christian High School, students from Children Home and Tribalhood Hostel, in Longleng on January 31 and the 28th, respectively, updates on Monday informed.

During the programme at Christian High School, the keynote address was delivered by a paralegal volunteer Imlichuba, the updates stated. P Monyei Phom, a panel lawyer spoke about the Motor Vehicle Act 2019.

Similarly, the Mon district legal services authority also organised a legal awareness programme on January 30 at Holy Angel School in Tizit, updates stated.

N Mannon , a project assistant at Mon DLSA, delivered the keynote address. She spoke about various topics such as the POCSO Act of 2012, Consumer Protection Act, RTE, RTI, and Child Labour among others. Also, she spoke about the functioning and success stories accomplished by the Mon DLSA this far, the updates informed.

Further, Angun, a panel lawyer, said in her speech that crime cases registered under POSCO are ‘increasing rapidly day by day,’ the updates stated. ‘The POCSO is a gender neutral case,’ she added.

H Topha, also a panel lawyer, spoke about Consumer Protection and RTE topics.

‘He called upon the students to be more vigilant and also to claim their rights without fear and hesitation. He also said that under the RTE, every child between the ages six to 14 years must be given free and compulsory education,’ the updates stated.

By EMN Updated: Feb 03, 2020 11:34:56 pm