Karnataka High Court Denies Bail To Man In POCSO Case, Says Minor Girl’s Statement On Consent Can’t Be Taken As Gospel Truth While Deciding Bail Plea
The Karnataka High Court has refused bail to an accused in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act, who claimed that that the victim minor girl was a consenting party and that there was absence of element of force. This was in the case of Bujji @ Babu G v. State Of Karnataka (CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 12080 OF 2022) and was presided over by a single bench judge Justice V Srishananda.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A complaint came to be lodged by the second respondent with Bagepalli Police, Chikkaballapura District which was registered in Crime No.179/2022 on 27.04.2022, initially for the offence punishable under Section 363 of Indian Penal Code. Gist of the complaint averments reveal that the complainant belongs to Schedule Caste community and was the resident of 13th ward in Bagepalli Town along with her family members. She has a daughter (victim girl) aged 16 years. On 02.04.2022, the victim girl had been to church and at that juncture, the petitioner kidnapped her. Despite best efforts, the victim girl was not traced and therefore, the complainant approached the jurisdictional police with a missing complaint. Police registered a case as aforesaid and investigated the matter. During the course of investigation, the investigating Agency was successful in tracing the victim girl and the accused/petitioner. After recording the statement of the victim girl, charge sheet came to be filed against the petitioner for the offences punishable under Sections 4 and 6 of POCSO Act and also under the provisions of Section 9 and 10 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. Apart from the offence under Sections 363, 372(2) (n) and Section 344 of IPC. Gist of the charge sheet material would go to show that the accused/petitioner cajoled the victim girl and took her with him on 14.02.2022 in the guise of valentine’s Day. Thereafter, near the entrance of Nandi Hills, the petitioner took her into a lonely place and had forcible sexual intercourse with the victim girl. Again on 02.04.2022 he took the victim girl to one of his relative’s house representing the victim girl as a major and obtained premises on rent and started residing there. On 03.04.2022 at about 9 a.m., the petitioner took the victim girl to Anjaneya Swamy Temple and married her. On 11.05.2022, the petitioner had sexual intercourse with the victim girl and the victim girl being aged 16 years. The Police filed charge sheet against the petitioner for the aforesaid offences. During the course of investigation, the petitioner has been apprehended by the Police along his elder sister Sujata and her husband. Accused Nos.2 and 3 were successful in getting bail but insofar as the petitioner is concerned, the learned Special Judge, Chikkaballapura by order dated.He pointed out that in such statement, victim girl specifically stated that the petitioner tied ‘Mangala Sutra’ outside the Anjaneya Swamy Temple in Doddaballapur and thereafter herself and the petitioner lived like husband and wife and they used to have physical relationship is every alternate day. It is also stated that the physical relationship out of volition and therefore, there is no forcible sexual intercourse which is sine qua non to attract the offences punishable under Sections 4 and 6 of POCSO Act, apart from the IPC offences and therefore, this is not a case where the custodial trial is utmost necessary and sought for grant of bail.
The court said taking note of the object that is sought to be achieved by enacting the POCSO Act, it is of the considered opinion that the grounds urged in the petition are hardly sufficient to accept the request made by the petitioner to admit him on bail. “Keeping all these aspects in view, even though victim girl has stated that she had the company of accused and physical relationship and both the couple had the relationship on their volition, taking note of the object that is sought to be achieved by enacting the POCSO Act, this Court is of the considered opinion that the grounds urged in the petition are hardly sufficient to accept the request made by the petitioner to admit him on bail by resorting to the special powers vested in this Court under Section 439 Cr.P.C,” said the court. The court clarified that it is open for the petitioner to approach the Court with a successive bail request, if there is any positive changed circumstance in the case after examination of the material witnesses.”
“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRATIKSHYA P. BEURA