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Karnataka High Court Quashes POCSO Case After Victim Marries Accused on Attaining Majority

The Karnataka High Court has quashed a complaint under POCSO registered against an accused after he married the prosecutrix during the pendency of the trial. This was seen in the case RAMA @ BANDE RAMA v STATE OF KARNATAKA (CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 6214 OF 2022). The judgment was presided over by the Coram of Justice M Nagaprasanna.

Facts of the case-

In the present case, the father of the prosecutrix had registered a missing complaint of her back in 2019, alleging offences punishable under Section 363 (kidnapping) of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The accused was remanded to judicial custody and a charge sheet was filed against him. About a year after the alleged incident, the prosecutrix attained the age of 18 years. In June 2020, the prosecutrix filed an affidavit that the petitioner and the prosecutrix were involved in a consensual relationship. After the said evidence, the petitioner accused was granted bail.

Judgement-            

The High Court observed that several Courts have closed proceedings against such accused who get married to the prosecutrix during the pendency of the trial.

The court further opined, “In the light of the marriage between the prosecutrix and the accused; a certificate being issued per law depicting the couple to be a legally wedded husband and wife; a girl child being born from the wedlock to which a birth certificate issued by the Competent Authority being placed on record. In such cases, the prosecution can hardly prove the guilt against the petitioner. If the victim is going to turn hostile in a trial at a later point in time and the petitioner gets acquitted of all the offences, the sword of crime would have torn the soul of the accused.”

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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.

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