In this episode of Makkala Nyaya Makkala Rakshanae, Nagasimha speaks about Children’s Court.
‘Children’s Court refers to a court established under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, or a Special Court established under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, wherever existing and where such courts have not been designated, the Court of Sessions having jurisdiction to try offences under the Act.
Children connected to cases relating to rape, harassment, and any other cases will have to be brought to the children’s court. Children come here through the police when a case under the POCSO Act comes up.
Children’s court is child-friendly with walls cheerfully painted; play items are given to the children, the judges and the lawyers are not dressed in black robes, and every ten minutes, a break is provided to the child if they wish to talk to their parents and their loved ones. If children like anyone in their family or friends’ circle, they will be invited to the court. Lawyers who wish to question the child must provide a set of questions to the judge beforehand and only after they approve can the lawyer question the child.
Nagasimha also mentions a recent case where a five-year girl was raped and a case was registered; the offenders were arrested and sent to jail for seven years. A discussion that has recently picked up steam centers on people committing such offenses being sentenced to death. “Basically, awareness has to be created among girls and also among the younger generation, in general, to take care and avoid such assaults. Now, as per records, people are coming forward to register such cases and the numbers are increasing.
‘Child Care Institution’ means a children’s home, an open shelter, an observation home, a special home, a place of safety, a Specialised Adoption Agency and a fit facility recognised under this Act for providing care and protection to children, who are in need of such services; people who work here should not have any legal cases against them, they should be aware of child-related Acts, and they should be child-friendly.
In Bangalore, ‘Child Care Institutions’ include APSA, SPARSHA and SOS Village. All documents related to children at the Child Care Institution must be registered with the Child Welfare Committee.
‘Committee’ means the Child Welfare Committee constituted under section 27; this committee will consist of five members out of which one will be the president who will be aware of child-related laws. All of these members must be magistrates. Whenever a case is presented, a minimum of three members must be present as well; Bangalore has three such committees. Child Rights Trust is part of the selection panel for these members and it has also provided training on child-related laws. CRT has also translated the JJ ACT from English to Kannada and distributed it to relevant persons. A committee works for three years after which the members change.