DCP’s nod for POCSO cases: Can reconsider if majority feels so, says Mumbai police commissioner


PTI, Jun 11, 2022, 6:17 PM IST

After facing criticism over a circular which mandated that no FIR for molestation or offences under the POCSO Act should be registered without the zonal DCP’s permission, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey on Saturday said the directive can be reconsidered.

The circular, issued on Monday, said a First Information Report for molestation or under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act should be registered only upon a recommendation by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and after receiving permission of the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the zone.

The reason cited for the directive was that many times false cases of such offences are registered due to disputes over property, money or because of personal feuds.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, however, on Thursday sought withdrawal of the order, saying it will violate the rights of sexual abuse victims. The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on the next day asked Pandey to immediately withdraw the order. The commissioner commented on the controversy on his personal Twitter handle @sanjayp_1 on Saturday.

”Been hectic last week. Seems some misunderstanding about our circular for scrutiny of some cases. We tried removing misuse however if majority feels otherwise we will surely relook,” Pandey said.

A Twitter user said that the circular can be modified, and police should register offence immediately and send the victim for medical examination. ”After ascertaining the facts you may or may not arrest the accused as per provision of the law. Please relook on arresting the accused,” the user said.

To which, Pandey replied, ”Sure will consider.

”Actually if a wrong offence gets registered it’s a very difficult process to close this. And that was the main reason here. And scrutiny never meant days or weeks,” he tweeted.

In most cases, the ACP, DCP and the senior police inspector function from the same premises and the verification of complaint can be done within a few hours, he added.

To another comment which said that police can close the case by filing an appropriate report before the magistrate if a complaint is found to be false, the commissioner said, ”I know that. But the harassment is complete. ”I also know that false cases are registered not in a bonafide manner. given this situation plan is to have supervisory control. Else why have dcp acp and even cp. just have psi and pi who can register and investigate,” he added.

The directive about scrutiny of complaints had followed a case in Dharavi area where two youngsters, arrested in a rape case, were eventually exonerated as CCTV footage showed that they were at some other place at the time of the crime.

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