(POCSO Act): Consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eye of law, rules Bombay HC

POCSO Act): Consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eye of law, rules Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court ruled that consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eyes of law. 

Background 

The appeal under Section 14-A of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is filed by the appellant since the appellant is felt aggrieved by the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, in Bail Application, whereby the Additional Sessions Judge has rejected the application for bail filed by the appellant under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The applicant was arrested by the Police Station, in connection with Crime for the offence punishable under Sections 363, 376 (1) (i) (j), 506 of the Indian Penal Code, under Sections 4 and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and under Sections 3 (1) (W) (i) (ii) and 3 (2) (v) of the Atrocities Act.

Arguments 

Advocate Ali, appearing for the appellant, contended that further incarceration in jail of the appellant is not required in view of the fact that the Investigating Officer has already completed the investigation and filed the final report before the Court. 

He argued that looking at the age of the appellant, he would be released on bail. There was a love affair between the appellant and the victim and the victim on her own had eloped with him and stayed for nearly 45 days at the residential house of the appellant at Kaushambi in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Decision 

The division bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai and Justice V.M. Deshpande noted that  the statement of the victim clearly shows that at no point of time she was having any type of love or affection towards the appellant and it was the appellant, who tried to persuade her even against her wish. Not only that, her statement would show that the appellant had extended a threat to her to kill her younger brother aged about 3½ years, which was precisely the reason for the victim to accompany the appellant.

The court stated that the consent obtained by giving threat and/or even simple consent by a minor has no value in the eyes of law.

The court dismissed the criminal appeal and confirmed the impugned order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge.

Case title: Peer Mohammad Ghotu Mohd. Ismail v/s State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Citation:  CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 491 OF 2021

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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