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HC notice to central and TN govts on PIL on child abuse

Madras High Court

Chennai:  The Madras High Court today issued notice to the central and Tamil Nadu governments on a PIL seeking a direction for designating special courts to deal with cases of sexual abuse of children under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S  Sivagnanam, before which the PIL came up, issued notice to Assistant Solictor General Su. Srinivasan, appearing for the central government, and government pleader S T S Moorthy representing Tamil Nadu government.

It directed them to file reply within six weeks. The court asked the petitioner to file rejoinder within three weeks thereafter and posted the matter for further hearing to August 18.

The petitioner, advocate Ranganayaki, alleged that no visible action was taken by the authorities to implement the mandatory provisions of the POSCO Act to promote awareness among the children and parents.

The petitioner said government should take action to implement the requirements of the Act by expediting the trials in child sexual abuse cases.

The petition sought a direction to the authorities to set up a public website with database of known sex offenders which community members can make use of and take proactive measures, besides a direction for availability of a child helpline number and have that information visibly available in all schools.

It prayed for a direction to central and state authorities to appoint full-time counsellors experienced in child psychology in each school.

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