High ranking police officers have no elementary knowledge of law, Karnataka HC while hearing plea regarding child pornography
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High ranking police officers have no elementary knowledge of law, Karnataka HC while hearing plea regarding child pornography

Rintu Mariam Biju

While dealing a petition alleging instances of child pornography in children's homes, the Karnataka High Court today directed the state to take up remedial measures to train police officers regarding registration of FIR.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar further stated that the registration of FIR cannot be denied even if a police officer suspects the credibility of the information. In this behalf, the High Court stated that,

SPs [Superintendent of Police] have done something prohibited by the Supreme Court. The first thing he should have done was to register an FIR in the matter. High ranking police officers have no elementary knowledge of law. This is such a shock... the damage has already been done.

CJ Abhay Oka

In order to set right the issue at hand, the High Court opined that training had to be provided to the police department right from top to bottom.

If this continues, the entire criminal justice system will be problematic. The Lalita Kumari judgment should be given to all police stations. Set your house in order. Let the officers at least say that there has been a mistake on their part. Further, the IG, DG will have to provide copies of this judgment to all the police stations. We are not interested in going against the officers but system has to be set. Some kind of warning and training has to be given. Otherwise the same old fashioned way will continue.

Karnataka High Court

CJ Oka further suggested that the state government must take the initiative to come up with a policy decision wherein all the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) courts should be made child friendly. He also stated that there must be a separate building for such courts.

In response, the state sought for time to come up with remedial measures suggested by the Court. The matter will be next heard on February 7.

The Court went on to state that implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and other directions sought for in the plea will be looked into at a later date.

Earlier, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had submitted a report dated September 6, 2018 which recorded that more than one hundred children residing in Child Care Institutions in Karnataka were victims of child pornography.

An affidavit was also tendered earlier this month which recorded the documents filed by the Centre indicating the number of such cases and the names of the concerned Child Care Institutions where child pornography cases have occurred.

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