Will not give urgent hearing to POCSO convicts when more deserving people are waiting: Kerala High Court

Justice Kauser Edappagath was considering an appeal moved by a man against his conviction by a Special Court in Kollam for committing offences punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court on Thursday remarked that urgent hearings are not meant for persons who have been convicted of grievous sexual offences especially when more deserving people are waiting to be heard.

The remarks were made by Justice Kauser Edappagath when considering an appeal moved by a man against his conviction by a Special Court in Kollam for committing offences punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

The allegation against the appellant was that he had, on two occasions, brutally sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl.

Irked by the counsel for the appellant insisting for an immediate hearing, despite the court deciding to hear it at length after the upcoming vacation, the single-judge orally remarked,

"This court is not here to give emergent hearing to people like this. There are other deserving people waiting. Emergent hearings are for them. Not for people who are convicted of molesting an 8-year-old child."

The judge was equally unimpressed when the counsel attempted to appeal to the Court's sympathy by arguing that the appellant himself has girl children.

"What should I understand from the fact that he has girl children? Twice, you did this (sexually assaulted the minor survivor). Moreover, when she resisted, you shoved a piece of cloth in her mouth, to silence an 8-year-old child", Justice Edappagath said.

When the counsel for the appellant continued to insist for a hearing today, the Court told him that it is not prima facie inclined in his favour but that it would pass an order today itself.

If the counsel fails to impress the Court and the order is not in favor of the appellant, the court suggested he can approach the Supreme Court.

"The allegation of the child is enough. If you insist on arguing now, I'll dismiss it. Go to the Supreme Court. If you argue, I'll hear you and give you an order. If you can convince me, I'll accept it. But after hearing don't ask me to not give an order. I am not prima facie inclined," the single-judge said.

The matter was then posted for hearing two months later.

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