The decision of the Chikkaballapur district court to remand bail to a person accused of raping a minor child has come under immense scrutiny.
SH Korradi, Prl. District & Sessions Judge, Chikkaballapur, announced the decision on Friday, just two days after police officials arrested Shivanna, a resident of Gotakanapura village in Gowribidanur taluk of the district.
Shivanna was arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl in the village. "He was supposed to marry the victim's sister but when that did not work out, he raped the girl when he was drunk. He ran away from the village and we acted upon a complaint given by the residents of the village and arrested him on the same day," said a police official investigating the case.
Shivanna was arrested on Wednesday when the residents of his village found him with the minor girl. The police registered a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
However, within two days he was remanded bail by the court in a decision that has caused outrage.
"The accused is about to get married to another resident of the village today and that was included in his bail appeal," added the police official.
The accused was remanded bail on Friday and police officials confirmed that he is getting married on Saturday.
â€śThe accused claimed that the victimâ€™s family was trying to malign him but he has admitted to raping the child,â€ť said the police official.
However, despite the alleged confession, the accused was remanded bail.
"It is not common for bail to be given in POCSO cases but we have seen it happen even in Bengaluru. The judges told us that the law is left up to the magistrate but the letter of the law says that the accused cannot be given bail when a minor is involved," said Brinda Adige, Director of Global Concerns India, an organisation that takes up developmental and environmental projects in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The news emerges a week after Global Concerns, along with Hanns Seidel Foundation India, a Germany-based agency, held a workshop for police officers in Kolar and Chikkaballapur on gender equality, violence against children and women, and human trafficking.