Gauhati High Court

Gauhati High Court: On 15-03-2024, Justice Vijay Bishnoi, the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court notified the adoption of Practice Directions for proceedings (Criminal Appeals/Revisions or Criminal Petitions) filed under the POCSO Act in Gauhati High Court and the Outlying Benches.

The following Directions, which came into force with immediate effect, were adopted in pursuant to the High Court’s decision in Dipak Nayak v. State of Assam1

  • Before granting bail to a person who is accused of an offence triable under Section 376 (3) or Section 376-A8 or Section 376-DA or Section 376-DB of the Penal Code, 1860 the High Court or the Sessions Court shall give notice of the application for bail to the Public Prosecutor within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of the notice of such application.

  • The Courts shall ensure that written communication Investigating Officer (I.O.) to the informant or any person authorized by her, by the Investigating Officer that her presence is obligatory at the time of hearing of the bail application under the afore-stated Sections. “Annexure A” shall be filed by the I.O. along with the Reply/Status Report to such bail application and the Courts shall make all endeavour to ensure presence of the informant or any person authorized by her.

  • In Every Bail Application / Criminal Appeal / Criminal Revision / Criminal Petition arising from cases involving offences under the POCSO Act and those covered by Section 439 (1A) CrPC; the Registry shall-

    1. Serve a copy of such Bail Application/ Criminal Appeal/Criminal Revision/Criminal Petition to the concerned Public Prosecutor, who in turn forward the copy to the I.O. or the Officer-in-Charge of the concerned Police Station, through email and hard copy, requiring the officer to apprise the victim/guardian etc., regarding filing of such proceedings before the High Court.

    2. It shall be mandatory to implead the victim/guardian/support person, as the case may be. While impleading, the identity of the victim shall be properly screened strictly adhering to the mandate of Section 33(7) of POCSO Act and a formal notice of such impleading shall be issued to the victim/guardian/support person by the I.O. or the Officer-in-Charge.

    3. The notice issued to the victim/guardian/ support person shall also contain a stipulation that in case he/she is unable to engage a counsel of choice, services of free legal aid counsel shall be provided to represent him/her in the proceedings filed before the High Court.

1. Criminal Appeal (J) 40/2022

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