Criminal Courts directed to take all possible measures to ensure that true testimony of child witnesses was recorded without undue pressure

Delhi High Court:  While deciding a matter relating to child abuse the court observed that, “child sexual abuse is one of the most pervasive social problems faced by our society. Its impact is profound because of the sheer frequency with which it occurs and because of the trauma brought to the lives of the children who have experienced this crime.”

The matter dealt with a petition to dismiss an FIR, registered on sexual abuse of a child, on the ground that a ‘compromise’ had been reached between the parties. The petitioner, Ankush Kumar, lured the 12 year old child, when the latter was wandering in a park with a job offer, that of cleaning vehicles for Rs. 4,000 a month. Later, he took the child to a secluded place and sexually assaulted him.

Refusing to quash the FIR, the Court said “apparently, the petitioner (accused) is using all possible weapons to pressurize and to win over the victim i.e. the minor, to tamper with the evidence and to hamper the trial.” The single judge bench held that “the case in hand is otherwise the petitioner’s wish to use the provision of Section 482 of Cr.P.C. to cause injustice by way of putting undue pressure upon the minor child to get rid of the due process of law which is neither permitted by the Statute nor by the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court. The conduct of petitioner itself is an abuse of the process of law. It would be pertinent to mention here that to achieve his covert object, the petitioner also made the father of the minor child a party. The father of the minor has been used to get procured the Memorandum of Understanding which is not permissible under the law on behalf of the minor to digress from the justice delivery system. The role of the petitioner is also condemnable and the practice adopted in this case, needs to be curbed and warrants dismissal of the present petition.” Terming child sexual abuse as an “epidemic”, the court further directed the criminal courts to take all possible measures to ensure that true testimony of child witnesses was recorded without undue pressure. [Ankush Kumar v. State2015 SCC OnLine Del 12453 , decided on 30.09.2015]

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