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SC to examine whether man be tried under POCSO in rape case

Supreme Court

New Delhi : The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a complex legal question as to whether a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman having an IQ of a minor can be tried under stringent POCSO law which provides life term for persons convicted for raping minors.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act is applicable in cases where victims are minors and convicts do not get away with lighter jail terms as the minimum sentence is life imprisonment.

A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh sought response from the Centre and Delhi Police on a plea filed against a Delhi High Court order refusing the submissions that the alleged rapist of the 38-year-old woman, suffering from cerebral palsy, be tried under POCSO Act.

The woman’s mother, a reputed medical practitioner, alleged that her daughter had a mental age of 8 years at the time of commission of the offence and later this came down to three-four years after she suffered the trauma of rape.

It also sought a direction that her plea be transfered to the special court dealing with matters lodged under POCSO as the case required specialised deposition of mentally- challenged person in the absence of accused.

The incident had taken place in a posh south Delhi locality and the accused hailed from an influential background.

Due to delay in recording the statement of the victim in the trial court, the mother had moved the high court for transferring the case to the designated POCSO court, so that her testimony could be recorded in the presence of neuro specialists and psychologists of a reputed hospital.

The high court only permitted videography of the recording of the statement and refused to transfer the case to the special POCSO court, leading to the filing of the appeal in the apex court.

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