Main Role of CWCs
The main role of the CWC under POCSO is to provide assistance to children who are alleged to be victims of sexual assault and, where applicable, their families, in obtaining care and protection. This role has been given to the CWCs in recognition of the fact that in cases of sexual assault it is important to look beyond the investigation and trial of the alleged perpetrator to providing assistance to the children in such cases who are in need of care and protection.
Who initiates the case before the CWC?
1. Under section 19 (6) of POCSO, it is the SJPU or local police that will report and produce a child before the CWC. So cases before the CWC will be initiated by the SJPU or local police. If the case under POCSO is brought to the notice of the CWC directly, the CWC shall inform the police / SJPU of the case.
In what circumstance can a child be brought before the CWC?
2. Rule 4(3) of the POCSO Rules lists the following circumstances in which a child is to be brought before the CWC. The child is:
a. living in the same or shared household with a person who the police allege has committed or is likely to commit or attempt to commit an offence under POCSO (such children are hereinafter referred to as ―Children Found Co-Habiting with Accused‖ or ―CFCA‖);
b. living in a child care institution and does not have parental or other family support, i.e., is either orphaned or abandoned in such institution (such a child is hereinafter referred to as ―Institutionalized Child/Children‖); or
c. is found without any home or parental or other family support (such a child is hereinafter referred to as ―Destitute Child/Children‖).
In addition, Section 19(5) of the POCSO and Rule 4(3) of the POCSO Rules state that such a child should be determined by the SJPU or local police for reasons recorded in writing to be a child in need of care and protection (this report is hereinafter referred to as the ―Police Care and Protection Report or ― PCPP).