Speedy Justice – Still a wait for kids?
Bindu (given name) aged 12 years who was staying at a children’s home in Trivandrum and studying in grade VII was allegedly abused by her father (Krishnankutty) during the Christmas vacation when he had taken the child home to Peroorkada from the child care home (Dec. 2013). On 18th January 2014, a teacher from her School called to CHILDLINE office and informed about the issue. The teacher came to know about the issue when it was revealed to her by the care taker of the child at the children’s home who said that Bindu used to talk in her sleep, asking her father not to harm her. Our Team visited the school and met the teacher and counselor. They accompanied the teacher and counselor to the children’s home and met the girl. Our staff counseled the child and found the following details:
Her mother Santhi died when she was in 1st grade. After that she and her sister were shifted to the children’s home. The girl revealed that when she went home for Christmas vacation for her treatment (skin disease) her father abused her at their home and at a relative’s house. Her home is very small and they had only one bed room. The girl and her sister slept in the same room with father. After the girls fell asleep, their father started molesting Bindu. She said that she tried to wake her sister up but that time and later on the abuser threatened to kill her if she disclosed the issue to others. He also frightened the girl by saying that he would commit suicide, if others knew about the issue. Hence she didn’t disclose it to others. She had been abused by her father for over three years during holidays.
We contacted CWC and as per their direction, she was shifted to another home in the city. On 20th Jan 2014, we visited her. As per the advice of CWC member, we contacted Poojappura police station and a woman SI and a WPC came there and took her statement in the presence of CHILDLINE Coordinator. The Police took FIR and the girl underwent medical examination and the abuser was arrested on 21st.
Bindu’s case is the second conviction in the State of Kerala and the first in the District of Trivandrum under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO)-2012. The Sessions court awarded life sentence to the abuser Krishnankutty on 24.01.2015.
We had made the following interventions in this case:
- Gathered details from the informer
- Visited the child at her place
- Talked with the child and gave emotional support
- Contacted CWC for further steps and the child was shifted close to the CWC on the same day.
- We reported this case to police officials and Woman Sub Inspector took statement from the girl. One female staff was present with the girl at the time of taking statement.
- Case details were submitted to CWC
- We gave statement to police regarding this case
- One of our team attended trial at the District Court during second week of December 2014 as prosecution witness.
Though this is a success story under POCSO act where in the child received justice in a period of one year after details were obtained it is still a long wait as the act provides for a maximum of 4 months. After the act came into force we have initiated action against umpteen number of offenders and all the others are still pending. Hope the legal system will rise up for the children and special courts will be set up for trial as the Act provides for.