Mandatory Reporting of Offences under POCSO Act to Override Section 198 of CrPC

The Delhi High Court (DHC) allowed a writ petition seeking a declaration to the effect that “Section 19 read with Section 21 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’) override the restrictions imposed under Section 198(1) read with Section 198(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’).” While the POSCO Act requires mandatory reporting by any person of any offence committed under the POCSO Act, Section 198 of the CrPC restricts the Court from taking cognizance of offences related to marriage unless the complaint is made by aggrieved person or a guardian of the minor or lunatic person only. Noting that marital status did not create distinct category within child victims of rape the DHC declared that the POCSO Act would override the general law; i.e. CrPC.