POCSO Act : Kerala High Court Upholds Constitutionality Of Reverse Burden Of Proof Under Sections 29 & 30
In a notable judgment, the Kerala High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Sections 29 and 30 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act(POCSO Act) which creates a reverse burden of proof on the accused. A single bench of Justice Sunil Thomas rejected the arguments that these provisions violated fundamental rights under Articles 14, 20(3) and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Court noted that statutes imposing limited burden on the accused to establish certain facts which are specifically within his knowledge are not rare in Indian Criminal Law. It further held such provisions cannot be held to be unconstitutional due to the fact that they reverse the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused if they are “justifiable on the ground of predominant public interest”.