Brahmastra is a unique, calamitous weapon that once unleashed annihilates its target completely. It could be summoned and fired at will. The puranic figures that wielded this deadly weapon acquired it from years of penance and devout service to the Guru or God. They were advised caution and self-restraint in its use.
POCSO Act is a weapon, similar to Brahmastra as it is capable of destroying a man’s reputation, family and life with no recourse. It can be used just like Brahmastra, at the will of the accuser. However, people who use it for personal agendas do not exercise the same self- restraint as the puranic deities.
POCSO – Protection of Child from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 was passed to protect children from sexual harassment and violation – physical or mental. It provides for establishment of Special courts to facilitate quick resolution of such cases.
*Why I consider POCSO a modern day Brahmastra?*
Two important points that compel drawing comparisons with Brahmastra are:
• No recall – There is no provision to withdraw a case under
POCSO as the offenses it covers are non-compoundable.
• No bail – There is no provision for bail for the defendant. The
defendant is assumed guilty until proven otherwise.
With just these two provisions, the POCSO Act can be used to desecrate marriage, family and any sacred institution of the society. Such laws
destroy society as they are formed out of vengeance and activism rather than the ideas of justice and equality.
Firstly such radical laws should not be passed because they are unfair and weakens the judicial system. Secondly, if such laws are passed they
should be applicable to a special minority of the society that is under- represented, for example orphans or children under 12 years of age.
Many false cases filed under POCSO are by poor families for extortion of money. Many celebrities and famous personalities are also falsely trapped using this act.
The Madras High Court remarked strongly against this act when a case filed by a woman against her husband under POCSO was found to be a farce, a ploy to get custody of her daughters from him. She accused her husband of abusing her 11 year old daughter sexually.
Justice N. Anand Venkatesh wrote in some detail about the findings of the case and misappropriation of law by the sinister woman. He remarked that “the case had shocked the conscience of the court.”
A similar case is currently under judiciary where Asharam Bapu, a saint loved by millions across the nation was presumed guilty on false
charges brought by a woman who is not even underage. The charges were religiously and politically motivated in response to his success in thwarting religious-conversions of Christian Missionaries.
51% of suicides among men that are accused of sexual assault were due to false allegations levied against them.
An amendment is desperately needed in POCSO Act to save the society
I hope the reader can appreciate that the law cannot be biased, it cannot be arbitrary, it cannot discriminate in its application; the law has to respect and represent all members of the society equally and must protect the innocent.