The Delhi police may not be able to conduct a test identification parade (TIP) of the persons accused of raping a five-year-old girl in east Delhi. Conducting a TIP is prohibited under the recently-introduced Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
An NGO, which has been handling the case of the girl who was brutalised near her Gandhi Nagar residence in east Delhi, has written a letter to the Delhi Police, asking them not to conduct a TIP.
According to the NGO, the police have booked the accused under section 6 of the POCSO Act. This means that, if convicted, the accused will get a minimum 10 years in jail but which may extend to imprisonment for life. The letter written by the Pratidhi NGO to the DCP (east) says, the child cannot be asked to identify the accused.
The NGO has argued that the minor girl will have to confront the accused to identify them and this may prove dangerous for her psychologically. It said the girl, who is already under intense trauma, cannot face the accused again.
"A police officer making the investigation, shall, while examining the child, ensure that at no point of time the child come in the contact with the accused," an NGO member said quoting the POSCO Act.
"The special fast-track court shall ensure that the child is not exposed in any way to the accused at the time of recording of the evidence, while at the same time ensuring that the accused is in a position to hear the statement of the child and communicate with his advocate," the letter to the police reads.
"In this particular case, the girl has been abused in such a brutal and barbaric manner that the sight of the accused will affect her adversely. For the well being of the child, we have requested the police that accused should not be brought before the child in any manner," said the NGO member.
A senior Delhi police officer said that they are aware of the law and have directed the investigating officer to follow it.
A TIP had been conducted in the case of the December 16 gang rape of a paramedical student on a moving bus.
But, it was the friend of the victim girl who attended the TIP at Tihar Jail and identified the prime accused.