Bring witnesses from Nepal in minor abuse case: Kerala child rights panel
The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that witnesses be brought back from Nepal immediately in a case pertaining to sexual abuse of a girl from Nepal in Balussery.
The commission directed the Home Secretary and the State and the District Police Chiefs to constitute a special team if needed. Commission member B. Babitha was suo motu taking action on a letter from the Koyilandy Fast Track Special Court about failure to execute non-bailable warrants issued against the witnesses (the girl’s parents).
The girl was sexually abused in November last year and a man from Kozhikode was arrested in this regard. Though the Kozhikode child welfare committee ordered that the child be given shelter at the Women and Children Home in Kozhikode, the mother declined the offer, and the CWC permitted the girl to remain with her parents.
After the commission directed that interim relief be provided to the child under compensation schemes, personnel deputed to serve summons found their home locked and the child and the parents missing. The girl’s father who was contacted over phone promised to appear before the court but failed to turn up. On enquiry, it was revealed that the child and the parents had left for Nepal. Executing the warrants and bringing them back would take some time, the District Police Chief said in a report.
The Koyilandy Special Judge, meanwhile, directed the State government to pay the interim compensation of ₹1 lakh by way of cheque or account transfer to meet the immediate needs of the victim.
The commission observed that for successful prosecution, the presence of the witnesses had to be ensured through Indian Embassy officials in Nepal.
The Home Secretary and the State Police Chief, it said, should ensure the presence of witnesses before the court for trial in cases where the witnesses are from another State or country.
The panel directed the Kozhikode Collector and the District Child Protection Officer to disburse the interim compensation to the witnesses and arrange for their accommodation when the reached the State. The police should provide protection to the witnesses to enable them to give evidence before the court, the commission said.