The Bombay High Court recently quashed a case registered against a 19-year-old under the Protection Of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act after the victim’s mother granted consent for the same.
A Division Bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and SG Dige observed that the accused was a student who appeared to have been on “friendly terms” with the minor girl and had stayed with her without the knowledge of their parents. And this miscommunication was the reason behind the FIR.
The bench observed: “It will be contrary to the interest of justice to continue the criminal proceedings against the petitioner, a student as both the parties equally will be put to hardship, particularly, both of them decided for quashing by consent on the ground of the reasons cited in the consent extended in support of the quashing.”
Quashing the criminal case, the HC said it did not find any other reason to subject the accused to prosecution.
FIR was registered in November 26, 2021
An FIR was registered by the victim’s mother against the accused on November 26, 2021 for kidnapping after the victim girl, aged 15 years, could not be found. Subsequently, relevant Sections under the POCSO Act were added for sexual assault.
The accused student approached the High Court seeking quashing of the case by consent based on the affidavit filed by the complainant mother.
The mother filed an affidavit supporting the quashing petition stating that after speaking to her daughter, she discovered that she had stayed with the accused without intimating her parents for a short period. The case was registered because of a communication gap between the victim and her mother.
Further, the accused pointed out that he had no intention to kidnap the girl from the lawful custody of the complainant. He further argued that the allegation under Section 354 was made out of frustration as the minor girl could not be located.
“What can be noticed from the facts of the present case is, petitioner, a student appears to have been in friendly terms with the victim girl and it is out of friendship they appear to have stayed together without there being intimation to the parents of the victim girl which has prompted the mother of the victim girl i.e. complainant to lodge a complaint,” the bench observed while quashing the FIR.
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