In case of PM v. State of Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court on 31.01.2022 held that the consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eye of law.
Facts of the case
This appeal is filed by the appellant (accused) under Section 14-A of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The applicant was arrested for the offence punishable under Sections 363 (Punishment for kidnapping), 376(1)(i)(j) (Punishment for rape), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, under Sections 4 and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (“POCSO Act”) and under Sections 3(1)(W)(i)(ii) and 3(2)(v) of the Atrocities Act. The counsel for the appellant submitted that there was love affair in between the accused and the victim and the victim on her own had eloped with the accused and stayed at his residential house for about 45 days.
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court observed the following:
- The School Leaving Certificate, prima facie, indicates that the victim was below 18 years of age. In that view of the matter, she is “child” within the meaning of clause (d) of Section 2(1) of the POCSO Act.
- The Court observed that at no point of time victim was having any type of love or affection towards the appellant (accused) and it was the appellant, who tried to persuade her even against her wish. The victim’s statement also showed that the appellant had extended threat to kill her younger brother aged about 3½ years, which was precisely the reason for the victim to accompany the appellant (accused). The statement of the victim coupled with medical opinion supports the charge of rape.
- The Bench remarked that “consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eye of law. “
Hence the court dismissed the criminal appeal.
– Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work & Priyanjali