Legal Service Authorities Should Ensure Child Survivors Of Sexual Assault Gets Counselling By Trained Psychologist: SC


The Legal Services Authorities should ensure that a child subjected to sexual assault is counselled by a trained child counsellor or psychologist to help the survivor come out of trauma.
A bench comprising of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal also stated that the State needs to ensure that such children continue with their education.
The bench stated, “Whenever a child is subjected to sexual assault, the State or the Legal Services Authorities should ensure that the child is provided with a facility of counselling by a trained child counsellor or child psychologist. It will help the victim children to come out of the trauma, enabling them to lead a better life in the future.”
Furthermore, the top court stated that social environment around the survivor may not always be conducive to the victim’s rehabilitation.
The bench stated, “Only monetary compensation is not enough. Only payment of compensation will not amount to rehabilitation in a true sense. Perhaps the rehabilitation of the girl victims in life should be part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign of the Central Government. As a welfare State, it will be the duty of the government to do so. We are directing that the copies of this judgment should be sent to the Secretaries of the concerned departments of the State.”
The observations came while deciding a plea filed by the Rajasthan government challenging the order passed by the Rajasthan High Court reducing the sentence awarded to a convict for the rape of a girl child from life term to 12 years.
The apex court directed that the convict must serve a sentence of 14 years without remission.
The bench stated, “We direct the Secretary of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority to ensure that compensation under the relevant victim compensation scheme is immediately paid to the victim as per her entitlement if not already paid. If the respondent has already been released after undergoing punishment in terms of the verdict of the high court, he shall be forthwith arrested and sent to prison for undergoing the remaining sentence in terms of this judgment.”
Moreover, the top court noted, the convict’s caste has been mentioned in the case title and mentioned that caste or religion of a litigant should never be mentioned in the cause title of the judgment. The bench said, “An accused has no caste or religion when the court deals with his case. We fail to understand why the caste of the accused has been mentioned in the cause title of the judgments of the high court and the trial court. The caste or religion of a litigant should never be mentioned in the cause title of the judgment. We have already observed in our order dated 14th March, 2023 that such practice should never be followed.”