In the year 2012, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was enacted to prevent sexual offences relating to children. It came into force in the year 2012, it is applicable to the whole of India. Chapter V Section 24 to Section 27 deals with the Procedures for Recording Statement of the Child
1) Recording of statement of a child
According to Section 24 of the Protection of children from sexual offences Act 2012,
The statement of the child shall be recorded at the residence of the child or at a place where he usually resides or at the place of his choice and as far as practicable by a woman police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.
The police officer while recording the statement of the child shall not be in uniform.
The police officer making the investigation, shall, while examining the child, ensure that at no point of time the child come in the contact in any way with the accused.
No child shall be detained in the police station in the night for any reason.
The police officer shall ensure that the identity of the child is protected from the public media, unless otherwise directed by the Special Court in the interest of the child.
2) Recording of statement of a child by Magistrate
As per Section 25 of the Said Act, If the statement of the child is being recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (herein referred to as the Code), the Magistrate recording such statement shall, notwithstanding anything contained therein, record the statement as spoken by the child: Provided that the provisions contained in the first proviso to sub-section (1) of section 164 of the Code shall, so far it permits the presence of the advocate of the accused shall not apply in this case.
The Magistrate shall provide to the child and his parents or his representative, a copy of the document specified under section 207 of the Code, upon the final report being filed by the police under section 173 of that Code.
3) Additional provisions regarding statement to be recorded -
According to Section 26, The Magistrate or the police officer, as the case may be, shall record the statement as spoken by the child in die presence of the parents of the child or any other person in whom the child has trust or confidence.
Wherever necessary, the Magistrate or the police officer, as the case may be, may take the assistance of a translator or an interpreter, having such qualifications, experience and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed, while recording the statement of the child.
The Magistrate or the police officer, as the case may be, may, in the case of a child having a mental or physical disability, seek the assistance of a special educator or any person familiar with the manner of communication of the child or an expert in that field, having such qualifications, experience and on payment of such fees as may be prescribed, to record the statement of the child.
Wherever possible, the Magistrate or the police officer, as the case may be, shall ensure that the statement of the child is also recorded by audio-video electronic means.
Medical examination of a child -
Section 27 of the Protection of children from sexual offences Act 2012 deals with Medical examination of a Child, As per said Section, The medical examination of a child in respect of whom any offence has been committed under this Act, shall, notwithstanding that a First Information Report or complaint has not been registered for the offences under this Act, be conducted in accordance with section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- In case the victim is a girl child, the medical examination shall be conducted by a woman doctor.
- The medical examination shall be conducted in the presence of the parent of the child or any other person in whom the child reposes trust or confidence.
Where, in case the parent of the child or other person referred to in sub-section (3) cannot be present, for any reason, during the medical examination of the child, the medical examination shall be conducted in the presence of a woman nominated by the head of the medical institution
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