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child witness - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
child witness

CHILD WITNESS

What’s in news?

A public interest petition (PIL) has been filed in the Karnataka High Court seeking a departmental inquiry against the policemen who allegedly questioned the children.

Background:

  • On Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Karnataka, police slapped a student aged between 9 and 12 on sedition charges by carrying guns – created an “intimidating and fearful environment”.
  • The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has pulled up the following issues in Karnataka High Court on filing a PIL;
  • The district police have violated few child rights and laws which includes repeated questioning of the children.
  • The police have recorded a video of the student without the consent of their parents or Guardian.
  • The PIL has asked for guidelines to be issued to police regarding interrogation of minors in criminal proceedings in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act and United Nations resolutions. 

Key data’s:

International conventions on children:

  • Adopted by United Nations General Assembly in 1989 and signed by India in 1992 – all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

United Nations Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses in Crime:

  • Model Law – provides a guideline for Child witnesses – authorities should treat the children in a caring and sensitive manner, with interview techniques that “minimise distress or trauma to children”.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015:

  • The Act prescribes that a Special Juvenile Police Unit is to be constituted by the state government in each district and city, headed by a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and including two social workers, at least one of whom must be a woman, and both of whom should be experienced in the field of child welfare.
  • A Child Welfare Committee should be framed in every district to take cognisance of any violations by the authorities in their handling of children.

Data to know:

Child witnesses:

Who are Child witnesses? As per Section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, there is no specific age fixed for a child witness – then Child witness have been determined by his or her ability to give rational answers to the questions asked.

Links to note:

https://www.iasipstnpsc.in/ins-vikrant/

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-child-witness-bidar-sedition-case-6271393/

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