New Delhi: The Home Ministry has directed all states to set up special courts for speedy trials of child sexual abuse cases and ensure immediate care and protection of the victim in a shelter home or in the nearest hospital.
The Ministry said the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, provides for the evidence of the child to be recorded within a period of 30 days and completion of the trial by the Special Court within a period of one year, as far as possible.
To provide for relief and rehabilitation of the child, as soon as the complaint is made to police, they will make immediate arrangements to give the child, care and protection like admitting the child into shelter home or to the nearest hospital within 24 hours of the report, a Home Ministry advisory to all states and Union Territories said.
The police are also required to report the matter to the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hours of recording the complaint, for long term rehabilitation of the child.
For the more heinous offences of penetrative sexual assault, aggravated penetrative sexual assault, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, the burden of proof is shifted to the accused.
This provision has been made keeping in view the greater vulnerability and innocence of children, the advisory said quoting the Act.
At the same time, to prevent misuse of the law, punishment has been provided for making false complaint or proving false information with malicious intent.
Such punishment has been kept relatively light (six months) to encourage reporting. If false complaint is made against a child, punishment is higher, it said.