The Kerala High Court in Sajith S vs. State Of Kerala Represented By The Public Prosecutor and Ors, has quashed criminal proceedings against Sajith, who was accused for offences punishable under section 354A (assault or criminal force with the intent of outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 7 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The police complaint lodged against Sajith was that he had touched a 15-year-old minor girl with a malafide intention and, thereby, outraged her modesty.
On the basis of this, investigation was initiated.
However, the accused approached the high court with the request to quash the proceeding as the accused and parents of the victim had settled the dispute.
The parents submitted that they had no grievances whatsoever against Sajith and were willing to compromise the matter. The public prosecutor also brought to notice that the accused wasn’t involved in any other crime.
After perusing the documents, Justice Sunil Thomas speaking for the bench, found that it disclosed a fair and genuine intention of the parties to settle the matter.
The court held:
“Though, the allegation includes sexual assault on a minor woman and the provisions of POCSO have been invoked, it does not involve an aggravated form of sexual assault. Further, the question whether it happened accidentally or whether it was done intentionally is a highly disputed question of fact. Having regard to these facts, I feel that continuance of the proceedings may not be in the interest of parties concerned. Hence, I am inclined to invoke the jurisdiction under section 482 CrPC.”
Accordingly, the criminal proceedings arising out of the police complaint were quashed.
Read the order here.
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