The Karnataka High Court has refused to quash a case under POCSO filed against rape accused man after the survivor pleaded that they were now married and have a child. The High Court bench, while passing the order, observed that the court is not quashing the case with due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime and the social impact.
Both the accused and the woman had approached the Kalaburagi bench of the High Court asking that the proceedings in the rape case, which are currently before a special court at Basavana Bagewadi in Vijayapura district, be quashed. The woman has told the court that she was 19 years old when the incident allegedly occurred and not a minor as the complaint said. However, the bench headed by Justice HP Sandesh refused to accept the arguments to quash proceedings against the rape accused.
The Times of India quoted the judge as saying that, when a crime has been committed under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for sexual assault) against a minor, even if consent is given, it is not considered so. The bench pointed out that the question of whether the woman was a minor or was above 18 at the time of the alleged incident, is to be adjudicated before the trial court.
The bench also cited the Supreme Court order and maintained before exercising power under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (saving of the inherent powers of the High Court) to quash the proceedings. ‚ÄúThe High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime and social impact,‚ÄĚ the bench said.
In this case, the accused is facing a charge of rape against a minor and was booked under sections of the IPC as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The Supreme Court is clear that in case of the serious offence of rape, the court cannot use the provision of section 482 of CrPC. It will have an impact on society, the bench opined. The order was passed on October 28.
With IANS inputs