MUMBAI: Maharashtra director general of police on Tuesday informed the Bombay high court that provisions already exist in law to provide updates on bail proceedings in POCSO matters to victims and that on October 6, a circular was issued to sensitize all units on proper implementation.
The October 6 circular issued by Suhas Warke, special inspector general of police, issued to all police commissioners and superintendents of police said “complainant must be informed” of all court proceedings and its schedule, arrests and applications for bail and parole.
The DG office in its affidavit, submitted by public prosecutor Deepak Thakre opposed admission of a PIL filed by an activist Arjun Malge to allow for child victims to be informed of all developments and to be permitted legal representation too to oppose bail pleas filed by an accused.
The PIL sought court’s intervention to ensure “strict implementation” of the Pocso provisions along with section 439(1A)of the criminal procedure code(CrPC) that provides for presence of informant or her representative during bail hearings in rape cases.
Malge’s counsel Somashekhar Sundaresan said that on October 1 the HC had raised a valid point of a debate on inter-link of salutary provision of section 439 CrPC with Pocso cases.
A March 2020 notification issued by Ministry of Women and Child development framed rules under POCSO which makes it a responsibility of the local police to keep the child or her parents and guardians updated of developments connected with the case including the arrest, any bail plea and other court proceedings. The rules also provide for appointment of a ‘support person’ who has to be kept in loop so that she or he can relay the information to the child’s family.
The HC bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni posted the matter after a week for further hearing, as other respondents in the matter would by then file their replies.

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