The Delhi High Court issued directions to ensure that the victims are sent a notice in all bail proceedings concerning POCSO cases to the Sessions Court.

The directions were issued after the hearing of a Petition which highlights a perennial and grave problem of hearing not being afforded to victims/complainants/informants, in bail applications filed on behalf of those accused who are facing trial under the POCSO Act.

As per the Practice Directions, how the informant/complainant/victim would have to be informed is through the IO, who has to issue a notice in writing to the informant/victim/complainant. Also, the Court observed that, “On the whole, out of a total of 294 cases wherein bail was sought by the accused, notices were issued to the Complainant in only 79 cases, i.e., in 215 cases constitution almost 70%, no notice was issued.”

The non-issuance of notice to the complainants/informants/victims is not merely a procedural lapse. Still, it is contrary to the unequivocal legislative mandate as also the declared and settled law. This Court has issued directions ensuring to send notices to the victims under the POCSO Act.

(By – Ukkash F)