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'More deserving people waiting..': Kerala HC rules out urgent hearing for POCSO convict

IANS | August 05, 2022 04:40 PM

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday orally observed that urgent hearings are not meant for persons who have been convicted of grievous sexual offences, especially when more deserving people are waiting to be heard.

The remarks came from a single-judge bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath when considering an appeal moved by a man against his conviction by a special court in Kollam for committing offences punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

The allegation against the appellant was that he had, on two occasions, brutally sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl.

Irked by counsel for the appellant demanding an urgent hearing, despite the court deciding to hear it at length after the upcoming vacation, Justice Edappagath orally said: "This court is not here to give emergent hearing to people like this. There are other deserving people waiting. Emergent hearings are for them. Not for people who are convicted of molesting an 8-year-old child."

The judge was upset when counsel attempted to arouse the court's sympathy by arguing that the appellant himself has girl children.

"What should I understand from the fact that he has girl children? Twice, you did this (sexually assaulted the minor survivor). Moreover, when she resisted, you shoved a piece of cloth in her mouth, to silence an 8-year-old child, " the judge said.

When counsel continued to insist for a hearing on Friday, the court told him that it is not prima facie inclined in his favour but that it would pass an order in the day.

If the counsel fails to impress the court and the order is not in favor of the appellant, the court suggested he can approach the Supreme Court.

"The allegation of the child is enough. If you insist on arguing now, I'll dismiss it. Go to the Supreme Court. If you argue, I'll hear you and give you an order. If you can convince me, I'll accept it. But after hearing, don't ask me to not give an order. I am not prima facie inclined, " he said.

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