Bal Niketan case: Cops summoned for violating norms

  • Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 07:53 IST

Taking strong note of police officials violating the norms of Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act while investigating the infamous Bal Niketan sexual harassment case, the Commission for Protection of Child Rights has summoned the police officials.

The station house officer (SHO) of the Sector-11 police station, investigating officer (IO) and other members of the investigating team have been summoned to appear before the commission on May 6.

Confirming the development, chairperson of Commission for Protection of Child Rights Devi Sirohi said the cops had been asked to explain why legal action should not be initiated against them.

During the course of investigation, the officials of Chandigarh Police had visited the home for destitute in uniform to question the children, which was in violation of the POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act. The police had recorded the statements of as many as 16 girls in the age group of 8 to 16. They all had, later, left the home. According to the sources, the children were not comfortable while interacting with the cops in uniform.

Both Acts have laid stress on ensuring that the procedures adopted should hall be child-friendly to minimise the trauma of child victims and also to eliminate the possibility of re-victimisation at the time of trial. The rule 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act and section 24 of POCSO Act provide that a police officer while dealing with children should not wear uniform.

"Its gross violation of norms and we don't expect our law enforcement agency not following the rules," said Sirohi.

It had been learnt that the department of social welfare while recommending first-information report (FIR) against the Bal Niketan supervisor had requested the police to ensure that all procedures of the Act were followed so as to safeguard the interest of the children.

When contacted, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh expressed his ignorance and maintained that he would look into the matter. However, he said the police had to go to the home in uniform as the accused was residing on the premises of the home.

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