Minor Victims in Open Courts

Finally, the judiciary has taken note of the harassment that child victims go through when they are produced in open courts for trials. Taking exception to the cases where the minor victims of rape are produced in courts, the Delhi HC has ruled that

The child victim (of rape) shall not be separated from her parents/guardians on the ground of ascertaining the voluntary nature of statement. No court shall detain a child in an institution meant for the adults”

The good news is that judiciary is becoming sensitized towards the trauma that a child has to go through in courts; often having to describe the complete incident to total strangers, fielding uncomfortable questions (“where did he touch you?”, “Did you resist?”). The least we can do is spare the little soul who has been abused from this additional form of abuse!

The bad news is that, although there already are “guidelines” put in place regarding rape trials where a minor is involved; it appears that courts are simply ignoring these guidelines left, right and center. What is needed is to turn these guidelines into stringent laws – that's the first step. Making the trial process child-friendly is the next. (More about this in Pinki Virani's Book “Bitter Chocolate: Child Sexual Abuse in India” - my review here)

If only, laws and guidelines as they are on paper were to be implemented! Looking forward to an India where the law treats the children as children and not as commodities!

4 comments to Minor Victims in Open Courts

  • In India we have laws,even though outdated.But,what is lacking is the process of implementation of the law.

  • Lets be optimistic and look only at the positive side. We are atleast one step closer to a better tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    I have heard of this book.. will definitely read it.

    And I agree, we are almost uncivilized in the way we treat our children. I hope this becomes a law, and protects the victims from further victimisation.

  • @BK Chowla: I agree. Laws are outdated - but even if these outdated laws had been properly implemented; the situation would have been much better.

    @PC: Well said! We are one step closer to a better tomorrow.

    @indianhomemaker: Yes - we need to at least protect the victims from further victimization. Its the least we can do for them!

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