Bengaluru: The State High Court has cancelled criminal proceedings against a man facing charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and rape charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after the victim and the accused married.
The victim had married him after turning major and the couple even had a child while the case was pending.
The bench headed by Justice K. Natarajan, while looking into the petition by a resident of Mandya to quash the POCSO and rape charges under IPC sections against him, gave the verdict on Monday. The bench had opined that the decision in this regard was made considering the interest of the child and the mother.
The bench remarked that the victim has attained majority now and is capable of taking independent decisions and selecting a life partner. She had married the accused and had a son out of wedlock. She has also agreed to quash the case against the accused person, the bench said.
Considering the interests of the victim, child and their future, the quashing of the POCSO case against the accused is appropriate, the court stated.
The victim’s father had lodged a complaint on January 27, 2021 with the Arekere police station that when the girl had gone to her grandmother’s place she went missing. The girl was found later with the accused. The police had lodged a case under POCSO and IPC sections.
The case was under trial in Second Additional District and Sessions Court in Mandya. The accused had made an appeal in the High Court.
The counsel C.N. Raju representing the accused submitted to the court that the accused had gone to judicial custody and after coming out on bail, married the victim on May 31, 2021. The couple are leading a peaceful life and the wife, who is also the victim, does not have any objection to quash the case.
The public prosecutor submitted that the victim had voluntarily gone with the accused as she could not bear the torture from the father.