The Hon’ble bench headed by Justice B V Nagarathna of Karnataka High Court has held that non-completion of recording of evidence of the child within 30 days and trial by the special court within the stipulated time as prescribed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as “POCSO, 2012”) under section 35 cannot be a ground to grant bail to the accused.
The Hon’ble division bench, comprising Justice B V Nagarathna and justice Justice M G Uma, after considering all the relevant facts, pieces of evidence, and arguments submitted/made by the parties held that “the sole object of these default clauses are the benefit of the child victim in terms of providing them the justice”.
The Hon’ble bench additionally also stated while pronouncing the verdict that the evidence that is required under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr. P.C, 1973”) cannot be equated to the evidence that is under Section 35 of the POCSO Act, 2012.
The statement under Cr. P.C, 1973 is taken during the investigation of the case, while statement under Section 35 of the POCSO Act, 2012 is recorded during the trial in the special court.
On the issue of the accused asking for the bail relying upon the clause of entitlement to bail based on default period, the bench said such an interpretation may go against the welfare of the child who is the victim.