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POCSO case can’t be quashed even after a mutual compromise is reached between victim and accused: Allahabad HC

The Court pointed out that the power under Section 482 of CrPC should not be exercised in prosecutions that involve heinous and serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. The court noted that such offences were not private and seriously impacted society.

The Allahabad High Court recently held that the prosecution of an accused facing trial under the POCSO Act cannot be quashed solely based on a compromise between the accused and the survivor. The court asserted while dismissing an application for quashing a rape case registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) against the applicant-accused. 

The Court pointed out that the power under Section 482 of CrPC should not be exercised in prosecutions that involve heinous and serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. The court noted that such offences were not private and seriously impacted society. Likewise, for offences under the purview of a “Special Statute” like the POCSO Act, 2012, the prosecution cannot be quashed on the grounds of mutual compromise between the accused and the victim. 

A Single Bench of Justice Samit Gopal held, “Where the prosecutrix is a minor below 18 years of age, then her consent would be immaterial. When an offence is made out against the accused irrespective of the fact that whether the prosecutrix was a consenting party or not, then certainly, the prosecution cannot be quashed merely on the ground that at a later stage the prosecutrix has entered into a compromise.”

The accused urged the court to set aside the cognizance and summoning order issued by a Special Judge (POCSO) Act at Azamgarh. In this case, the FIR was lodged under Sections 376 (rape), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent), and other sections of IPC and 3/4 of the POCSO Act at Bilariganj police station in Azamgarh district.

The accused challenged the POCSO court orders and sought the quashing of the charge sheet and all further criminal proceedings related to the mentioned charges. For this, the petitioner raised a single ground that a compromise was reached between the accused and the victim. Incidentally, the counsel for the victim also endorsed the accused’s plea.

However, the counsel for the state opposed the plea of the accused-applicant. The state’s counsel submitted that the case pertains to allegations that the accused subjected the girl to sexual assault for over three years when the survivor was only 15 years old. 

The counsel for the state also contended that since the victim was a minor at the time of the incidents, the charge sheet was filed under relevant sections. After finding a prima facie offence against the applicant, the trial court summoned him. It was further argued that the petition should be dismissed since a compromise in a case of this nature cannot be entertained.

Subsequently, the High Court relied on a Supreme Court judgment that held, “Where the accused was facing trial for an offence punishable under a special statute, the prosecution cannot be quashed based on compromise”.

“It is, thus clear that where the accused is facing trial for the offence of rape, then the factum of compromise under no circumstances can be of any help to him. They are crimes against the body of a woman. The honour of a woman cannot be put to stake by compromise or settlement,” the Court added while dismissing the plea. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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