Five months after the Madras High Court instructed police to invoke the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act in a case of rape of a mentally challenged 21-year-old woman, the Chennai police have still not done so.
The case comes up for hearing before a women's court on Wednesday.
According to The Hindu, on March 17, HC judge P N Prakash instructed the New Washermenpet police to slap the POCSO Act on the 28-year-old accused, after NGO Nakshatra approached the court with a medical certificate from the Institute of Mental Health suggesting that the victim had â€śsevere level of mental retardation.â€ś
The women's court, however, asked the woman to undergo a medical examination again at the Institute of Mental Health to re-ascertain her IQ level. Police investigation found the woman was mentally challenged.
At the age of five, the woman was admitted to an orphanage by her aunt. Her father passed away 13 years ago, and soon after, her mother abandoned her.
On May 26, 2015, the victim was visiting her aunt on Seniyamman Koil Street, VOC Nagar when Pradeep, 28, a neighbour raped her on the terrace of his house. Based on her auntâ€™s complaint, police arrested Pradeep, who later came out on bail.
NGO Nakshatra in its petition seeking invocation of POCSO, produced a clinical psychologist's report which said that the girl had undergone two tests to ascertain her mental maturity. In one of the tests, her mental age was found to be four years, and her IQ 25.
â€śWe have registered a case under IPC Section 376 (rape) and have not included any section from Women Harassment (Prevention) Act or Pocso Act as the victim is not a minor,â€ś inspector of police Ramesh Babu said to TOI. â€śWe conducted an inquiry in an impartial manner. All the mandatory provisions have been complied with during the investigation.â€ť