The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to enlist the steps taken by authorities to protect children in schools and shelter homes from instances of sexual assault.
A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice A S Gadkari was hearing a PIL filed by activist Aparna Dubey on incidents of sexual assault on disabled minors in a Pune school by the school staff.
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One of the accused in the case was released on bail despite being charged under serious sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO).
The court asked the inspector in-charge of the police station that investigated the matter to be present before the court in the next hearing. The counsel appearing for the petitioner told the court that guidelines under the POCSO was not followed by the police and there was no woman officer to record the victims’ complaint.
“What are the safety measures for these children? How was the accused granted bail and have the guidelines and safeguards under POCSO Act have been followed by the investigating officers in such a serious case? Investigation and trial of the case should be conducted in a child-friendly atmosphere,” Justice Kanade asked the state.
The court asked the state to file a reply on how it can ensure such incidents do not repeat in schools and shelter homes, in the next hearing which has been kept after two weeks.