Section 9 of The POCSO Act: Medical Examination of the Child
Examination of the Child: Section 9 states that when a child is a victim of sexual assault, they should be subjected to a medical examination. This examination is conducted by a registered medical practitioner, preferably a woman.
Purpose of the Examination: The primary purpose of this medical examination is to collect evidence related to the sexual assault. It is important for both legal and medical reasons. The examination aims to determine the extent of the child's injuries, if any, and to collect any physical evidence that may be relevant in court.
Child-Friendly Approach: The Act emphasizes that the examination should be conducted in a manner that is sensitive and considerate of the child's emotional and physical well-being. The medical practitioner is expected to handle the child with care, taking into account the child's age and psychological state.
Confidentiality: The Act also mandates that the medical examination should be conducted in a manner that maintains the utmost confidentiality. This is to protect the child's privacy and dignity.
Recording of Findings: The medical practitioner conducting the examination is required to record their findings, including any injuries, if present. These findings can be used as evidence in court.
Custody and Escort: The Act specifies that the police, or any person appointed by the Special Court, must ensure that the child is escorted to and from the place of examination, and that the child is not exposed to the accused or any person likely to be an accused.
No Delay in Examination: Section 9 emphasizes the importance of conducting the medical examination without undue delay. This is to ensure that evidence is collected while it is still relevant and to provide timely medical care to the child if required.
Child's Comfort and Cooperation: The medical practitioner conducting the examination should make every effort to ensure the child's comfort and cooperation. This may involve explaining the procedure in a child-friendly manner and addressing any concerns the child may have.
Forensic Evidence: In many cases, the medical examination may include the collection of forensic evidence, such as swabs for DNA analysis. This evidence can be critical in establishing the identity of the perpetrator and supporting the child's testimony in court.
Safeguards Against Misuse: The Act also contains safeguards to prevent the misuse of the examination process. It is intended to protect the child from any further harm and ensure the evidence collected is admissible in court.