Courts Must Issue Notices To Survivors While Deciding Bail Pleas For Sexual Offenders: Delhi HC

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court observed that courts cannot ignore issuing notice to victims in sexual assault cases while deciding bail pleas of offenders. It noted that survivors were not being informed in a majority of matters.

Hearing a case related to the bail granted to the accused in a minor's rape case, the court said that during emergency situations such as the current lockdown, bail pleas are being heard by sessions judges who are not regular POCSO courts, so it is necessary to sensitise them about these mandatory provisions.

The HC set aside the trial court's order granting interim bail to the accused in the minor's rape case without giving a hearing or notice to the girl.

"It is deemed appropriate to direct that any non-compliance of the mandatory condition of issuance of notice and service of notice to the complainant/ victim/informant could entail consequential action, in accordance with law," the court was quoted by a news agency.

It also directed respective district judges to conduct sensitisation programmes through videoconferencing within a week and inform all presiding officers about the importance of compliance of this mandatory condition.

The plea was filed by the girl's mother, through advocate Tara Narula, challenging the interim bail granted to the accused on May 5 on the ground that the order was passed in routine manner and was not only bad in law but also suffered from procedural lapse on the part of the sessions court.

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