COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION ….. Petitioner
STATE ….. Respondent
Date of decision : 4 th August , 2018
Q.No. 1: What is the legality of recording a statement or version of the incident enumerated by a victim of sexual offence by an NGO or a private counsellor and filing of such statement or counselling report along with a chargesheet before the trial court under Section 173 of the Cr.P.C.?
(i) A statement under the POCSO Act can be made only to a police officer or a magistrate, and;
(ii) Provisions of the POCSO Act or the JJ Act do not contemplate any report to be made by a counsellor. It further makes it explicitly clear that counselling report/notes of the counsellor (as well as any person or expert recognized under the POCSO Act and Rules of 2012 and the JJ Act) are confidential in nature and the same cannot be made a part of the chargesheet or otherwise on the trial court record.
Q.No. 2: What is the permissibility and legality of recording of multiple statements/versions of a victim of sexual assault, both women and children, by an investigating officer/judicial officer?
(i) The law allows the investigating agencies to record multiple statements of the victims. There is no prohibition on recording multiple statements by the police.
(ii) A seemingly contradictory initial account is not a reason in itself to disbelieve the subsequent accounts by the victims. The multiple statements placed by the investigating agency should be carefully scrutinized by the Trial Courts in order to ensure that complete justice is done .
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