New Delhi, Mar 25, 2017: BJP MP proposed ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ which seeks deletion of Section 19, which makes it mandatory for anyone having knowledge about molestation of a child to report it to the police, as reported by PTI.
The section says “any person who has the knowledge that such an offence (like molestation of a child) has been committed, shall provide the information to the police.”
According to Subramanian Swamy, the section is creating problems for even the judges who are hearing the cases. Often in divorce cases, the wife would say to the judges that her husband had molested her child, and according to the provision of the present law it makes it mandatory for the judge to report it, and many wives and husbands have filed FIR against judges under Section 21. As a result judges are afraid of taking divorce cases and it has caused a great backlog of such cases.
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Swamy had said that the amendment in the section (19) would have an exception which would enable who conduct judicial proceedings shall be exempt from this section Swamy said.
The passage of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 was widely welcomed but the drafting of some sections has been so poor which has caused many people especially in the judiciary to speak up against it as they have themselves faced harassment due to the application of this act.
Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself