Chapter V, Section 19 to Section 23 of the Protection of Child from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act 2012 deals with the procedure for reporting of cases.

1) Reporting of offences - 

As per section 19 of the said Act, "Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, any person (including the child), who has apprehension that an offence under this Act is likely to be committed or has knowledge that such an offence has been committed, he shall provide such information to,-

The Special Juvenile Police Unit, or

The local police.

Every report given under sub-section (1) shall be-

               ascribed an entry number and recorded in writing;
               be read over to the informant;
               shall be entered in a book to be kept by the Police Unit.

      Where the report under sub-section (1) is given by a child, the same shall be recorded under sub-section (2) in a simple language so that the child understands contents being recorded.

        In case contents are being recorded in the language not understood by the child or wherever it is deemed necessary, a translator or an interpreter, having such qualifications, experience and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed, shall be provided to the child if he fails to understand the same.

        Where the Special Juvenile Police Unit or local police is satisfied that the child against whom an offence has been committed is in need of care and protection, then, it shall, after recording the reasons in writing, make immediate arrangement to give him such care and protection (including admitting the child into shelter home or to the nearest hospital) within twenty-four hours of the report, as may be prescribed.

         The Special Juvenile Police Unit or local police shall, without unnecessary delay but within a period of twenty-four hours, report the matter to the Child Welfare Committee and the Special Court or where no Special Court has been designated, to the Court of Session, including need of the child for care and protection and steps taken in this regard.

      No person shall incur any liability, whether civil or criminal, for giving the information in pond faith for the purpose of sub-section (1),

2) Obligation of media, studio and photographic facilities to report cases

According to Section 20 of the POCSO Act 2012 Any personnel of the media or hotel or lodge or hospital or club or studio or photographic facilities, by whatever name called, irrespective of the number of persons employed therein, shall, on coming across any material or object which is sexually exploitative of the child (including pornographic, sexually-related or making obscene representation of a child or children) through the use of any medium, shall provide such information to the Special Juvenile Police Unit or to the local police, as the case may be.

3) Punishment for failure to report or record a case - 

           Section 21 of the POCSO Act 2012 provides punishment for failure to report for the record a case. Any person, who fails to report the commission of an offence under subsection (1) of section 19 or section 20 or who fails to record such offence under sub-section (2) of section 19 shall be punished with imprisonment of either description which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

         Any person, being in-charge of any company or an institution (by whatever name called) who fails to report the commission of an offence under subsection (1) of section 19 in respect of a subordinate under his control, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine. The. revisions of sub-section (1) shall not apply to a child under this Act

4) Punishment for false complaint or false information

According to Section 22 of the said Act, any person, who makes a false complaint or provides false information against any person, in respect of an offence committed under sections 3,5,7 and section 9, solely with the intention to humiliate, extort or threaten or defame him, snail be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.

     Where a false complaint has been made or false information has been provided by a child, no punishment shall be imposed on such child.

     Whoever not being a child, makes a false complaint or provides false information against a child, knowing it to be false, thereby victimising such child in any of the offences under this Act, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

5) Procedure for media -

           As per Section 23, No person shall make any report or present comments on any child from any form of media or studio or photographic facilities without having complete and authentic information, which may have the effect of lowering his reputation or infringing upon his privacy.

No reports in any media shall disclose, the identity of a child including his name, address, photograph, family details, school, neighbourhood or any other particulars which may lead to the disclosure of the identity of the child: Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Special Court, competent to try the case under the Act, may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the interest of the child.

The publisher or owner of the media or studio or photographic facilities shall be jointly and severally liable for the acts and omissions of his employee.

Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

See Also...

Abatement of and Attempt to Commit an Offence and punishment for such act under POCSO Act 2012

Sexual harassment and Punishment for Sexual harassment (POCSO Act 2012)

Aggravated penetrative sexual assault and Punishment for it (POCSO Act 2012)


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