Concerned over the increasing number of POCSO cases and lack of any mechanism to protect the children against such offences or threats from the perpetrators, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday said it was ”high time” there was a victim protection scheme in the state. Justice Devan Ramachandran raised concerns over the lack of a victim protection scheme here while hearing a plea for police protection moved by the victim, in a case lodged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, and her mother alleging threats by the accused and his family members.
”It is about time we have a victim protection scheme. It is only there on paper here. It has not been implemented. In other countries they (victims) would have been protected and hid away,” the court said.The court also issued interim directions to the police to ensure the victim and her family are adequately protected from any threat to their lives from any source.
With the direction, the court listed the matter for hearing on November 2.The petitioners have contended, in their plea filed through advocates P M Rafiq and Ajith Thomas, that since they were asking the state to appeal against the acquittal of the accused in the POCSO case, he and his family members were allegedly threatening the victim not to move forward with the matter.
The accused is a relative of the victim’s family.The petition claims that they had made representations to the local police and also the District Police Chief seeking protection for the victim and her family’s lives and property, but no response was received and hence, the instant plea was filed in the high court.