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HomeLegal NewsDoctors must strictly comply with the law on reporting POCSO offence

Doctors must strictly comply with the law on reporting POCSO offence

Karnataka High Court  denies doctor quashing of FIR under Sec 21 of POCSO

Bengaluru : Justice M Nagaprasanna bench of the Karnataka High Court dismissed the plea of a gynecologist for quashing the FIR against him registered under Sec 21 under the POCSO Act for allegedly failing to report the incident of a sexual assault on minor to the police. The court has expressed strong dissatisfaction with the accused’s failure to recognize the victim’s age during the medical termination of pregnancy, despite having 35 years of experience in the field. The bench emphasized that such a lapse in judgment by a seasoned professional is unacceptable. Furthermore, the court highlighted the significant concern that non-reporting of cases involving minors and their exploitation would allow offenders to evade legal consequences. This directly undermines the core objective of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, which aims to safeguard the rights and well-being of minors. The court emphasized the need for strict adherence to reporting protocols to ensure that offenders are held accountable and justice is served.

The victim arrived at the gynecologist runs Prashanthi Hospital in Laxmisha Nagara, Chikkamagaluru, in critical condition with severe bleeding and decreased vitals, allegedly caused by taking abortion tablets 2 to 3 days prior. Accompanying the victim were individuals claiming to be her parents.The gynecologist promptly admitted the patient to the hospital and provided immediate medical intervention, including oxygen and IV fluids, which improved the victim’s condition. However, it is claimed that the gynecologist performed an incomplete medical termination of pregnancy, leaving the placenta behind.

Due to the victim’s instability and ongoing bleeding, the gynecologist performed a procedure to retain the placenta, as further expulsion would have endangered the victim’s life. After approximately two days of admission, once the victim’s condition stabilized, she was discharged in the morning and taken by her purported relatives.Around one month later, Crime No.1 of 2023 was registered at Belthangadi Police Station for the aforementioned offenses. Initially, the gynecologist was not named as an accused party. Following an investigation, a notice was issued to the gynecologist accusing him of performing a medical termination of pregnancy on a 12-year and 11-month-old victim who had been subjected to sexual activity.The gynecologist was charged under Section 21 of the relevant Act. The dismissal of the gynecologist plea and the court’s strong remarks reflect the gravity of the situation and the court’s commitment to upholding the principles of justice, protection, and deterrence in cases involving the exploitation of minors and the role of doctors to report the sexual assaults on minor to the police.