Justice Satyen Vaidya remarked:
"POCSO Act does not impose any special prohibition for grant of bail in offence(s) committed under the Act. Rather, Section 31 thereof makes provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure including provisions as to bail and bonds applicable to the proceedings therein."
The observation came in background of a case against sexual relations between the Petitioner and a 16 years old. Significantly, the victim did not complain of use of force or deceit or any other alike means.
In this background, the High Court noted that though the Supreme Court has refused to accept 'love affair' as relevant consideration for grant of bail in POCSO offences, however, the Act itself does not stipulate any rigour on grant of bail, except those mentioned in CrPC.
The Petitioner was booked under Sections 363, 366A, 376 of IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and had approached the Court for bail.
The Court noted that the petitioner is in custody since April 2022, the trial is going to take time before conclusion and the charges against petitioner are yet to be proved. It thus observed that "pre-trial incarceration" is not the rule and since no past criminal history has been attributed to the petitioner, he is entitled to bail with conditions.
Case Title : PRATAP v STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 23