Delhi HC converts PIL into Revision Petition against POCSO Act Judgment

In an unprecedented move, the Delhi High Court exercised its suo motu revision powers to transform a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) into a revision plea against a trial court’s decision to close a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) involving child pornography.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora intervened due to what they deemed “manifest illegalities” and “miscarriage of justice” in the trial court’s order.

The court pointed out that the trial court failed to consider the definition of ‘child pornography’ under Section 2(da) of the POCSO Act while interpreting Section 15(2) of the same law.

It said that any sexually explicit material involving or appearing to depict a child constitutes child pornography, warranting the invocation of Section 15.

Moreover, the Bench noted the trial court’s disregard for medical opinions confirming the presence of children in the videos/photos found on the accused persons’ devices.

Utilising its powers under Sections 397 and 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Bench directed the PIL to be registered as a revision petition.

The matter will now be presented before a single judge as per the roster.

Furthermore, the court also appointed advocate Aashaa Tiwari as amicus curiae and issued notices to the discharged accused individuals.

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The PIL, filed by Tulir Charitable Trust against the Special Court-POCSO Shahdara District’s order, contested the discharge of two individuals accused of possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

Despite being chargesheeted under various Sections, including 15(2) of the POCSO Act, the accused were discharged by the trial court.

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