The police have applied the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 against the accused vice-principal Edigious Francis Falcao.
The act came into force on November 14 last year, Children’s Day. According to the Act, the burden of proof is not on the victim, hence it will ensure speedy justice.
The act has been drafted to strengthen the legal provisions for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone IV) Manoj Patil said, “To make the case watertight, we have registered a case under section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The procedures described in this act will be followed.” Patil however refused to comment on the investigations in the case.
Advocate Supriya Kothari, Bhagini Helpline, said applying the new act in this case would definitely ensure a speedy trial.
“When sexual offences are committed against adults, the burden of proof lies on them to prove in the court of law that the offence indeed took place. But according to this new act, in case of minor victims, there is no need to repeatedly testify whatever happened to them. So under this act, the time taken will be less and there will be speedy judgment,” said Kothari.
The punishment as per the new act is either a sentence of seven years or life imprisonment.