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MP High Court Refuses To Quash Charges Framed Against Advocate U/S 19&21 POCSO Act For 'Ill-Advising' Rape Accused To Conceal Crime

Zeeshan Thomas
23 March 2022 6:19 AM GMT
MP High Court Refuses To Quash Charges Framed Against Advocate U/S 19&21 POCSO Act For Ill-Advising Rape Accused To Conceal Crime
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently refused to interfere with the charge framed against an Advocate under the POCSO Act for 'ill-advising' the accused and Prosecutrix in a rape case, suggesting them 'not to disclose true facts to the police'. Justice Sanjay Dwivedi was dealing with a criminal revision preferred by the Applicant aggrieved by order of the trial court, whereby he...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently refused to interfere with the charge framed against an Advocate under the POCSO Act for 'ill-advising' the accused and Prosecutrix in a rape case, suggesting them 'not to disclose true facts to the police'.

Justice Sanjay Dwivedi was dealing with a criminal revision preferred by the Applicant aggrieved by order of the trial court, whereby he was charged for offence punishable under Section 19 (Reporting of offences) and 21 (Obligation of media, studio and photographic facilities to report cases) POCSO Act.

Section 19 provides that any person who has knowledge that an offence has been committed, he shall provide such information to (a) the Special Juvenile Police Unit; or (b) the local police.

The allegation against the Applicant was that he advised the accused persons and Prosecutrix in a rape case to not disclose the true facts before the police and also before the trial court.

The Applicant submitted that he was an Advocate and had done nothing illegal. He further argued that being an Advocate, it was his duty to give sound advice to his clients, so as to create defence in their favour. He submitted that as such no offence was made out against him but the trial court however, failed to consider this aspect and framed the aforesaid offence against him.

Per contra, the State submitted that it was clear from the statements of the Prosecutrix under Section 161 and 164 CrPC that the Applicant advised the accused to not disclose true facts to the police. She had also stated that he tutored her to make false statement before the trial court that the accused had not committed anything wrong with her. Her statements also revealed that neither she nor the accused had approached or contacted the Applicant for any assistance as an Advocate.

Examining the submissions of the parties, the Court decided not to interfere with the impugned order, observing that once the Applicant had learned about the incident, he should've approached the authorities concerned, rather than ill-advising the accused and the Prosecutrix-

Considering the provision of Section 19 and 21 of POCSO Act and statement of prosecutrix, I do not find any infirmity in the order passed by the court below, because Section 19 and 21 of POCSO Act very specifically provides that if any information with regard to offence committed with the minor girl comes into the notice of a person, he should immediately convey the same to the authority, but here in this case even after knowing such thing applicant has ill-advised the prosecutrix and as such offence has rightly been registered against him. The order passed by the Court below does not call for any interference.

With the aforesaid observations, the Court held that the revision was devoid of any substance and accordingly, the same was dismissed.

Case Title: Hiralal Dhurve Vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh and others

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 81

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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