‘Relationship Was Out Of Love, Not Lust’: Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Youth Booked Under POCSO

‘Relationship Was Out Of Love, Not Lust’: Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Youth Booked Under POCSO

The court noted that the girl stayed with the accused at various places and did not raise any grievance that she was forcefully taken away

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 03:54 PM IST
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Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench | Twitter

Observing that the alleged sexual relationship between a youth and a minor appears to be out of love affair and not lust, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high Court has granted bail to a youth who was arrested in 2020 and booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

Justice Urmila Joshi-Phalke also noted that the girl, who was then 13-year-old, left her parents’ house on her own and went with the youth and admitted to having a “love relationship” with the accused. 

Girl stayed with accused at various places, did not raise any grievance: Court

The court noted that the girl stayed with the accused at various places and did not raise any grievance that she was forcefully taken away. “The applicant is also of a tender age of 26 years and out of the love affair they come together. It seems that, the alleged incident of sexual relationship is out of the attraction between the two young persons and it is not the case that applicant has subjected the victim for a sexual assault out of lust,” the court added. 

The HC, on January 5, directed release of the youth on furnishing a personal bond of Rs25,000 and directed him not to enter the village Chausala till the completion of the trial. The HC was hearing the youth's bail plea. 

According to the prosecution, on August 23, 2020, the girl left her house on the pretext of getting a book from her classmate. Since she did not return, her parents lodged an FIR with the Anjangaon Surji Police Station in Amravati district. 

A day later, they were traced to Bangalore and brought back where she told the police that she had gone with the youth, who resides in the neighbourhood, on her free will. The police arrested the youth on August 30 . 

"No forceful sexual act"

Seeking bail, his advocate SS Jadhav submitted that the girl accompanied him on her own and that there was no forceful sexual act. Jadhav also pointed out that the chargesheet was filed in 2020 itself and there was no progress in the case. 

State advocate AR Chutke and victim’s advocate Deepali Shahare opposed the plea contending that the girl was minor at the time and her consent to the sexual relationship was invalid. 

The court took note of the fact that there was no progress in the trial since 2020 and said: “The trial will take its own time for the final disposal.”

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