A single-judge bench of the Bombay High Court of Justice Bharati Dangre has granted bail to a man who was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly having forced sexual intercourse with a minor who was 15 years old.
It was alleged that the applicant had taken the victim to his aunt’s house to meet her. However, his aunt was not present in the house and the applicant allegedly had forced sexual intercourse with the minor. It was also alleged that he had threatened her not to tell anyone about the incident.
However, the victim informed her parents about the incident only after her sister caught her chatting with the applicant (accused).
The HC while granting bail to the applicant noted that although the victim was a minor, she was aware of the consequences of her actions and she had voluntarily accompanied the applicant to the place.
The court noted, “Although she is a minor and her consent becomes immaterial, in a case like this, where she voluntarily joined the company of the applicant, and she had categorically admitted that she was in love with the applicant, whether that she consented for the sexual intercourse or not, is the matter of evidence. Till what point of time, she accompanied the applicant and whether she resisted the actual physical indulgence, when according to her, the applicant forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her against her wishes, will have to be determined.”
The court also raised doubts about the victim disclosing the incident to her parents. It said, “The prosecutor/victim kept quiet till her WhatsApp chat with the applicant was objected to, by the family members and then she narrated the incident which was alleged to have taken place on 6/4/2020. The time gap between these two events is also crucial as it was always open for the prosecutor to disclose to the aunt about the forcible act if it was committed in her house, but she continued to remain silent and disclosed the incident only when an objection was taken for her establishing contact with the applicant.”
The court while granting bail to the 21-year-old applicant said, “In the aforesaid circumstances and particularly, when the applicant is also a young boy, the possibility of him also being smitten by infatuation, cannot be ruled out and though he may take the consequences of the accusations leveled against him, at present, he need not be further incarcerated being arrested on 29/4/2021, when the trial may consume considerable time.”
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