The following case laws emphasize and establish that cases pertaining to individuals below 18 years of age come under the jurisdiction of Child Welfare committee in case of children in need of care and protection and Juvenile Justice Board in case of children in conflict with law. They also reiterate a greater need for institutions to make the mechanism as child-friendly as possible. Furthermore, the Home Investigation Reports (HIRs), medical reports carry due weight as evidence in the court of law and for the best interest of child are mostly treated as confidential.
The following case laws will help you to appreciate and understand the application of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking and Prevention Act (PITA) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO):
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 54 of 1964
The petition dealt with the scope of relevancy of a victim’s age under IPC Section 354. It pertained to the question if the respondent, who caused injury to the private parts of a female child of seven and half months, is guilty under s. 354 of the IPC of the offence of outraging the modesty of a woman.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 421 OF 1989
The petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by way of public interest litigation seeking directions for (i) inquiry against police officials under whose jurisdiction the malady of forced prostitution, Devdasi system and Jogin traditions were flourishing and (ii) for rehabilitiation of the victims of this malady.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 446-449 OF 2004
In the petition filed before the Supreme Court, the basic focus was on the absence of an atmosphere conducive to fair trial. The ruling gives importance to guidelines in terms of witness protection.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 745-54 OF 1950
The petition was taken up on the basis of an article “A Red Light Trap: Society gives no chance to prostitutes’ offspring” published in the magazine “India Today”. The petitioner had sought establishing separate educational institutions for the children of the fallen women.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 102 OF 2007
The petition was taken up on the basis of an article published in the Hindi newspaper “Hindustan” (Lucknow Edition) written by Ms. Anjali Sinha and the translated caption of the article is “Orphanage or Places for Child Abuse”. The article was forwarded to this Court by one A.S. Choudhury along with a letter and that is the genesis of this petition.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 1332 OF 1999
The petition was filed under Article 226, seeking instructions to the State Government regarding the state of Kasturba Sadan which is a rescue home established for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION No. 788 of 2002
The petition was filed to protect children and minor girls rescued from the flesh trade against the pimps & brothel-keepers re-acquiring possession of the girls. It raised concerns over ethicality of lawyers representing pimps and minor girls in the same case & cases of minor girls not tried in Child Welfare Committee or Juvenile Justice Board at the first instance.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 1694 OF 2003
The petition sought creation of mechanisms within judiciary and police to effectively deal with cases of human trafficking and ensure enactment of provisions of the ITPA such as establishment of Special Courts envisaged under ITPA and other guidelines such as appointment of counsellors to shelter and rescue homes etc.