3 March 2023 4:45 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR registered against a 19-year-old male student under IPC and POCSO for the abduction and sexual assault of a minor teenager with the complainant’s - mother’s consent.Justices Nitin Sambre and SG Dige observed that the couple was on “friendly terms” and lived together without informing the girl’s parents. And this miscommunication was the...
The Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR registered against a 19-year-old male student under IPC and POCSO for the abduction and sexual assault of a minor teenager with the complainant’s - mother’s consent.
Justices Nitin Sambre and SG Dige observed that the couple was on “friendly terms” and lived together without informing the girl’s parents. And this miscommunication was the reason behind the FIR.
“In the aforesaid background, what can be noticed is, it will be contrary to the interest of justice to continue the criminal proceedings against the petitioner, a student as both the parties equally will be put to hardship, particularly, both of them decided for quashing by consent on the ground of the reasons cited in the consent extended in support of the quashing,” the bench observed.
The issue of quashing a POCSO case by consent is pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.
Facts of the Case
An FIR was registered by the victim’s mother against the petitioner on 26th November, 2021 for offences punishable under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC after the victim girl, aged 15 years, could not be found. Subsequently, Section 354 of the IPC and Sections 8 (sexual assault) and 12 (sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act were added.
In the consent affidavit before the High Court, the teenager’s mother said that on asking her daughter she got to know her daughter eloped with the petitioner on her own accord. Advocate Vishwanath Patil also argued that there was a communication gap between the teen and her parents. Finally the affidavit said the allegations of sexual harassment under section 354 of the IPC was added only subsequently.
With this background the petitioner boy sought to quash the FIR before the High Court. The court recorded that it had interacted with complainant and found she was not pressured to settle the case.
The bench relied on two judgements of Satender Sharma Vs. State and Anr and Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab where in the court held that an FIR lodged out of frustration can be set aside by consent.
“What can be noticed from the facts of the present case is, petitioner, a student appears to have been in friendly terms with the victim girl and it is out of friendship they appear to have stayed together without there being intimation to the parents of the victim girl which has prompted the mother of the victim girl i.e. complainant to lodge a complaint,” the bench observed and quashed the FIR.
Case Title: Shiva Chanappa Odala v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Bom) 131
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