Udupi: ‘POCSO Act and Media’ workshop held for journalists

05:46 PM May 21, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Additional District and Sessions Judge and Special Judge for POCSO cases Srinivas Suvarna on Tuesday said that media personnel must exercise extreme caution while reporting under the POCSO Act and must not disclose the identities of the victims.


In a workshop titled “POCSO Act and Media” organized by the Udupi District Working Journalists’ Association in collaboration with the Udupi Patrika Bhavan Committee, Judge Suvarna elaborated on the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of victims’ names and addresses. He warned that media outlets could face legal action for violations.

Implemented in 2012, the POCSO Act provides special provisions for victims under 18 years old, requiring female officers to handle inquiries and female medical officers to conduct examinations. Public exposure of these victims is strictly prohibited, he added.

Judge Suvarna noted that POCSO cases are tried in special courts with specific procedures, and medical officials must inform the police if a minor girl is pregnant. Anyone with knowledge of such incidents must report them or they can also face charges.

He highlighted that the examination of POCSO case victims must be completed within 30 days, and the entire case should be resolved within a year. Given the high incidence of POCSO cases in rural areas, the media has a crucial role in raising awareness.


Judge Sharmila S, Member Secretary, of Udupi District Legal Services Authority identified excessive mobile phone use as a key factor in POCSO cases, urging parents to monitor their children’s usage to prevent friendships formed through chatting from escalating into sexual violence.

There is also misuse of POCSO cases, and such misuse constitutes a crime. The media acts as a mirror of society and should work to inform the general public about these issues through their platforms. They must understand the sensitivity of the cases and report accordingly, she stated.

Special Public Prosecutor of the POCSO Court, Y.T. Raghavendra, explained that under the POCSO Act implemented in 2012, offenders can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. The 2019 amendment to the Act also allows for the death penalty in such cases. He highlighted that Section 23 of the Act is specifically designed for the media, mandating the confidentiality of victims’ names and addresses in news reports.

Raghavendra stressed that media should responsibly inform the public without revealing victims’ names or addresses. In exceptional cases requiring the disclosure of victims’ names, special court permission must be obtained.

The workshop also highlighted that false accusations under the POCSO Act constitute a crime and that the media must educate the public about this to prevent misuse.

The event was presided over by Association President Rajesh Shetty Alevur, with Udupi Patrika Bhavan Committee Director Ajith Aradi in attendance. General Secretary Nazir Polya welcomed the gathering, and Treasurer Umesh Marpalli delivered the vote of thanks. Secretary Rajesh Achaladi was also present.


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