POCSO Act Not Intended For Cases of Dense Romantic Affair

POCSO Act Not Intended For Cases Of “Dense Romantic Affair” Between Teenagers: Allahabad High Court

A Bail Application was filed by the applicant who was charged for the offences under Sec-363, Sec-366 and Sec-376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, Sec-3 and Sec-4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), Act, 2012 and Sec-3(2)v and Sec-3(2)va of Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Brief facts of the Case

The minor victim and the applicant were in inter-se relationship for the last three years. Both of them decided to fled away without informing their family or friends. They ultimately reached Delhi and after marrying each other they started living together in a rented house as husband and wife. During this period, the minor victim gave birth to a baby who was 4 months at the time of filing the bail application. After knowing about their whereabouts, all the authorities unmindful of the acts that the minor victim was having applicant’s baby in her lap, was sent to a Balgriha in Prayagraj and the applicant was sent to jail. The learned Special Judge (POCSO Act), Fatehpur rejected a Bail application filed by the applicant vide order dated 23.11.2021. Hence, the present bail application was filed.

Observation of Court:

  1. Court took a moment to delve into an important aspect that is, the awareness of which is crucial in understanding and appreciating with the cases of instant nature. Court said it is crucial to accept the science and psychology of an adolescent and young adulthood at this juncture. Court by assessing the totality of the circumstances considered the fact that, the childhood training of the adolescent teenagers should be blamed and targeted, where their parents have miserably failed to inculcate the values of life, the family traditions, their focus towards life and their priorities.
  2. Court said that because the minor victim and the applicant married each other and has a baby out of this relationship, certainly rigors of POCSO Act would not come in their way. The girl was not sexually abused by the applicant, as contemplated by the object of POCSO Act. Court said that there is no doubt that consent of a minor girl has got no value in the eyes of law but in the present scenario where the girl has given birth to a baby from the applicant and wants to reside only with her husband, in that case if the girl has sent to a Balgriha in Prayagraj, that would only amount to add more to her miseries.
  3. Thus, assessing the totality of facts and circumstances, Court in this extraordinary condition and keeping in view the nature of the offence, evidence on record regarding complicity of the accused and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, allowed the Bail application. Court also ordered the In-charge of Balgriha in Prayagraj to release the minor victim and her baby. Lastly, court derived some conditions for the applicant and breaching of any of the them will be a ground for cancellation of bail.

Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – Child Safety at Work & Riddhima Khanna

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