High conviction rate for POCSO cases in 2019-20 in Kerala
Kannur: The annual report of the year 2019-20 of Kerala State Commission For Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) shows that 73.89 percent of the cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act ended up in convicttion. While the accused in 1,093 cases out of 1,406 were found guilty, 167 were acquitted. 146 cases were solved by other means.
In India, a similar conviction rate is achieved by only the CBI. It is around 69.2 and 69.8 percent in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
However, the overall numbers since the POCSO Act was passed are not good in Kerala. The Commission complained that the cases are being delayed in the trial despite the mandate for a speedy trial in the act. Out of 8,678 cases, 7,271 cases are yet to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is 83.78 percent.
Subsections 29 and 30 of the POCSO act are the most useful sections that ensure the conviction, said legal experts. The trial begins with the presupposition that the accused is guilty. As per the section 29, it is the duty of the accused to prove he is innocent. According to Section 30, the child who was subjected to abuse does not lie. It is again the duty of the accused to prove it otherwise.
Conviction rates of child abuse cases registered under other acts are very low compared to POCSO.