High Court cautions over misuse of POCSO Act

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Wednesday warned Family Courts about the growing tendency to misuse the provisions of the POCSO Act to frame false cases of sexual abuse against biological fathers when custody battles come before Family Courts.

If a POCSO case has been registered against the father, the family court should consider the result of the investigatin conducted or should try to ascertain the true circumstances behind registration of the case, a division bench comprising justices K Harilal and TV Anilkumar directed.

"The Family Court must apply its mind and endeavour to find out the true circumstances behind the registration of the crime. Unless a very cautious approach is adopted by the Family Court to ensure that information on which the crime was registered was not frivolous and vexatious, many an innocent father fighting for the custody of his ward will become a victim of false implication of crimes under the POCSO Act," the Bench held.

Dismissing an appeal filed by the grandparents of a five-year-old girl who sought permanent custody of the child, the Bench made it clear that unless there are reliable materials to convince the allegation of sexual abuse, mere registration of the case shall not be reckoned as a ground for rejecting the father's claim for custody.

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