The trial of cases involving minor rape victims in open court has come in for severe criticism by the Delhi High Court, which has said that a friendly atmosphere should be created for them in the guardianship of their parents during recording of their evidence.
"The child victim (of rape) shall not be separated from her parents/guardians on the ground of ascertaining the voluntary nature of statement," the High Court said quoting the guidelines issued by it in a previous judgment.
"No court shall detain a child in an institution meant for the adults," Justice Gita Mittal said expressing anguish that all these guidelines put in place were being ignored by the trial court while dealing with cases of rape against minors.
The court's observations came while setting aside the conviction and seven year sentence of a rape accused.
The judge noted that the victim contradicted her statements with regard to the place of occurrence of crime because of inadvertence in the hearing process on the part of the magistrate.
"The statement under section 164 of the CrPC was recorded by the Magistrate during the course of investigation. It would appear that individual sensibilities clouded the proceedings resulting in a camouflage of the evidence so much so that complete truth has not been brought out," Justice Mittal said.