‘IO says she was not aware of provisions under POCSO Act’

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 27, 2014 16:35 IST

Sub-inspector Aarti Goyal, investigating officer in the Bal Niketan harassment case, has admitted in front of the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights that she was unaware about the fact that cops could not question the children while wearing uniforms.

Goyal said they did not know that the cops were not allowed to investigate or record statements of children in uniform.

Prof Devi Sirohi, chairperson of the commission, said they had summoned station house officer of the Sector 11 police station, Malkit Singh, and sub-inspector Aarti Goyal to ask them about the lapses while dealing with the children during the investigation process at Snehalya, Maloya.

Sirohi said Malkit had sought exemption from appearing before the commission and only sub-inspector along with two other women constables Jyoti and Sudesh appeared here on Monday.

The police officials were summoned to know why they conducted the investigation in their unifor ms as this was against the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012.

Goyal appeared before the commission and claimed that she was ignorant as it was her first case investigating under this act.

Sirohi said according to reports, Goyal, woman constable Sudesh were in police uniforms when they were recording statements of the children at Bal Niketan, while another woman constable Jyoti, who was writing down the statements of the children, was in civil dress as she was pregnant and had been exempted from wearing uniform.

Sirohi said : “We will be writing to the police that they should at least give training to their cops under the POCSO Act before sending them for the investigations. We have also asked Malkit to appear before the commission on June 26 along with the two constables in connection with the case. The additional SHO Dalbir Singh has also been asked to come.”

Sirohi added that the SHO would also be questioned if he was also not aware about the POSCO Act.
On May 6 also, the Chandig arh police of ficials failed to appear before the child commission.

The UT police registered the sexual harassment case against Maneesh Arora, care taker of Bal Niketan, when a 15 year-old girl had complained against him by calling on child helpline number on April 3.

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