The Day of the Trial
On the Day of The Trial
Things You Must Do
Make sure the child will not be hungry as the process is long and exhausting. Ensure that the child has eaten regular meals. Carry food & water.
The child will be anxious. Do try and calm them down. Listen to them. React positively and appropriately. Re-affirm their confidence.
If the journey to the court is long, make sure the child is occupied. You may allow them access to mobile games & video games, coloring books, toys etc. This may even be helpful when you are waiting with the child at the court.
On the way to the court, call the Public Prosecutor. Find out where they are placed. Ask them for advice on where to wait once you reach the court – In the PP office or elsewhere.
When case is about to start, the accompanying police constables will be with you. But you must be alert. Relatives/friends/well-wishers of the accused will be around.
There are also chances that there maybe inadvertent interface between the accused and the child. Be Watchful. If the accused is much too visible to the child, immediately alert the constable and shift the accused. But the relatives may still remain.
Counsel the child: Don’t look at them. Don’t feel scared. Ensure that you break all attempts at eye contact.
How to Speak to The Child About Their 1st Court Appearance
If the child has been through a 164 CrPC statement, tell the child that this will be a different courtroom and not the same that they visited for 164 CrPC.
Give them a detailed overview of the day starting with the courtroom. Describe the scene they will be seeing outside the courtroom as well. There will be people in handcuffs. There will be many police and strangers. But tell them that you will be with them every step of the way and that they will be completely safe.
Repeat the description of the courtroom in detail so the child knows what to expect. Use a film or a picture as reference. Tell them there will be a judge & 2 typists. Tell them that you will be present as well as the trusted adults and lawyers. Also tell them that a team of lawyers representing the accused will also be present.
Tell them that the accused will be around as he has to listen to the proceedings. But also reassure them that as far as possible, there will be no contact between them and the accused. But even if there are any close encounters, the child is not to worry. Tell them that everyone around will keep them safe.