Biological age of rape victims will decide if trial will be under POCSO: SC
The SC order came in response to a PIL filed by the mother of a 38-year-old rape victim suffering from cerebral palsy, which has left her with the mental age of a six-year-oldUpdated: Jul 21, 2017, 16:50 IST
The biological age and not the mental age of a sexual assault victim will determine whether trial in the case will be held under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act of 2012, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday.
The court order came on a petition raising a question of law as to whether the POCSO Act will apply where the mental age of the victim makes her a child despite her age.
The PIL was filed by the mother of a 38-year-old rape victim suffering from cerebral palsy since birth, which has left her with the mental age of a six-year-old.
The court had earlier stayed criminal proceedings in the case pending in a trial court.
The POCSO Act is a special legislation enacted to try people accused of sexual assault on minors and provides for establishment of special courts, in accordance with an UN Convention on Rights of the Child 1992.
India is among several countries in the world where sexual abuse of minors is rampant. Activists say most of the cases go unreported as family members avoid seeking police help for the social stigma attached to such incidents.