7 July 2022 4:36 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court has rejected a contention that according to Muslim law, since the victim has attained the age of puberty, the rigours of POCSO Act will not be applicable.Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the statement of object of the POCSO Act states that the Act is aimed to secure the tender age of the children and ensure they are not abused and their childhood and youth is...
The Delhi High Court has rejected a contention that according to Muslim law, since the victim has attained the age of puberty, the rigours of POCSO Act will not be applicable.
Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the statement of object of the POCSO Act states that the Act is aimed to secure the tender age of the children and ensure they are not abused and their childhood and youth is protected against exploitation.
Agreeing to the submission that that POCSO is an Act for protection of children below 18 years of age from sexual abuse and exploitation, the Court said:
"For the reasons above, I reject the contention of the petitioner that according to Muslim law since the victim has attained the age of puberty the rigours of POCSO Act will not be applicable."
The Court was dealing with a plea seeking quashing of FIR filed under sec. 376 and 506 of IPC and sec. 6 of POCSO Act as well as the charge sheet filed under sec. 376, 506, 406 and 377 of IPC read with sec. 6 of POCSO Act and sec. 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, pending before the Trial Court.
It was stated in the FIR that the child victim was aged 16 years and 5 months on January 1, 2022, the date of the first incident.
It was alleged that the petitioner visited the house of the victim and requested her parents for marriage with him. The parents of the victim agreed on the condition that the marriage will only take place when the victim clears her Class XII.
Subsequently, it was alleged that the victim's father gave a sum of Rs 10 lakhs to the petitioner by selling his house and taking loan on interest. It was further stated in the FIR that after the engagement, the petitioner had physical relationship with the victim on two occasions. It was also alleged that subsequently, the petitioner refused to get married to the victim and abused her as well as her parents.
It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that the petitioner had never refused to marry the victim and even is ready and willing to marry her.
It was also argued that the provisions of sec. 6 of POCSO Act is not applicable to the present case, as according to Muslim Personal Law, the victim was a major as she has attained puberty.
On the other hand, the State argued sec. 6 of POCSO Act is not religious specific but age specific and that the aim of the POCSO Act is to prevent children from sexual crimes.
While agreeing with the arguments put forth by the State, the Court said:
"It is not customary law specific but the aim of the Act is to protect children below the age of 18 years from sexual abuse."
It added "As regards the other arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner are concerned, I am of the view that the same are in the nature of defence and can only be proved/disproved after trial. None of the ingredients of the principles given in State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal, 1992 SCC (Crl.) 426 are applicable to the facts of the present case and hence, the petition is dismissed."
Accordingly, the plea was dismissed.
Title: IMRAN v. STATE OF DELHI THROUGH COMMISSIONER OF DELHI POLICE & ORS.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 620
Click Here To Read Order