The Supreme Court of India in the case titled “We the Women of India vs. Union of India & Ors. Writ Petition(s) (Civil) No(s) 1156/2021 and in Writ Petition No. 427 of 2022 titled Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs. Union of India” has directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to formulate Model Guidelines with respect to Support Persons under Section 39 of the POCSO Act in consultation with the State Governments and Government of the Union Territories. The Supreme Court in the said matter has also directed the State Governments and the Government of the Union Territories to further frame rules for their States/UTs based on the Model Guidelines.
Therefore, the NCPCR in compliance with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, has organized a Consultative Meeting to discuss and deliberate upon the Draft Model Guidelines in respect to Support Persons under Section 39 of the POCSO Act, 2012. The meeting was held today at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi representatives from the Department of Women & Children of various States and UTs across India participated in the said meeting.
Smt. Preeti Bharadwaj Dalal, Member, NCPCR welcomed all the participants and thanked them for attending this program. Further, she gave a brief about section 39 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and discussed the fundamental guiding principles as laid down in various international instruments and as in the Preamble to the POCSO Act, 2012.
The program began with a detailed presentation on the order and directions passed by the Supreme Court of India for ensuring the formulation of Model Guidelines with respect to Support Persons under Section 39 of the POCSO Act, 2012.
Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Government of India, gave a keynote address to welcome the officers from States and Union Territories and further emphasized that this meeting has been organized to ensure compliance of the Supreme Court orders passed to formulate the Draft Model Guidelines with respect to Support Persons under Section 39 of the POCSO Act. The Supreme Court has also directed State Governments and the Government of the Union Territories to further frame rules for their State/UTs based on the aforementioned draft Model Guidelines.
Shri Kanoongo also informed that the need for a support person should not be left to the discretion of the parents; in all cases, the option of availability of a support person should be made known to the victim’s parents and further, he also told all the authorities to join hands and send suggestions to the Commission on this draft guideline by the 30th of this month to finalize the same. The Chairperson also discussed the key objective of Support persons under the POCSO Act, 2012 which is to provide emotional and psychological support to the child victims during the legal proceedings and further ensure their well-being and protection.
During the program, the Chairperson suggested proper rehabilitation of the victim of child sexual abuse and also emphasized that the Support Person should keep real-time track of the victim.
The meeting was followed by open house discussions and suggestions on the draft model guidelines from the representatives of the States/UTs were taken into consideration.
At the end of the program, Ms Rupali Banerjee Singh, Member Secretary, NCPCR thanked all the participants for their active participation and also appealed for their cooperation in the future.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.