Quashing of FIRs in non-compoundable offences under POCSO Act by exercising power under section 482 of CrPC: Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court passed a judgment on 29-01-2021 in the case of Sunil Raikwar vs. State and Anr. 2021. Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the petition and that in regard to quashing of FIRs expressed that, High Court cannot mechanically quash FIRs for non-compoundable offences by exercising powers under Sections 482 CrPC just because parties have decided to bury their hatches.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The complainant filed the instant FIR stating that he is a resident of H.No.26/70 Ist floor, West Patel Nagar, Central Delhi working as a mason and stays with his son aged seven years. He stated that on 20.11.2019, he returned after finishing his work at 8.00 p.m., and found his son crying. When he enquired from his son, his son told him after he left for work at 2.00 p.m., the accused who stays in the same building had come and sodomised him.
It is stated in the complaint that the underwear of the child was wet with blood. The FIR was lodged on 21.11.2019 and on completing investigation, the final report has also been filed stating that there is enough material to proceed against the petitioner for offences under Section 377 IPC and Section 4 POCSO Act.
The petitioner filed a petition under Section 482 CrPC for quashing FIR for offences under Section 377 IPC read with Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act). The instant petition has been filed for quashing of the FIR primarily on the ground that due to intervention of elders of the society and friends, the parties have decided to amicably put an end to the disputes and differences. The affidavit of respondent No.2/complainant has also been filed stating that all the disputes have been settled between the respondent No.2 and the petitioner and that respondent No.2 has no objection to the FIR registred for offences under Section 377 IPC read with Section 4 of the POCSO Act being quashed.
Court took reference from the case of State of Maharashtra v. Vikram Anantrai Doshi & Ors (2014) where is has been found that Section 377 IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act are non- compoundable offences. It is well settled that while exercising powers under Section 482 CrPC to quash criminal proceedings for non- compoundable offences on the basis of compromise, the High Court should scan the entire facts to find out the thrust of allegations and the crux of the settlement. Another case from which the court took reference from is Narinder Singh & Ors v. State of Punjab & Anr (2014).
Court observed that in the present case, the petitioner has been accused of offences under Section 377 IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act. The victim is a small boy of seven years. The offence alleged against the petitioner is grave. The POCSO Act was enacted only because sexual offences against children were not being adequately addressed by the existing laws and the purpose of the Act was to provide protection to children from sexual assault and sexual harassment and for safeguarding the interest and well being of children. Permitting such offences to be compromised and quashing FIRs will not secure the interest of justice. An offence under Section 377 IPC committed on a child of seven years or an offence under Section 4 of the POCSO Act shows the mental depravity of the offender and cannot be said to be private in nature. It has serious impact on the society. Later the petioon was dismissed by the court.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY ABHINAV CHATURVEDI
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