Posted by: Published on – Tue, 11/15/22 at 09:39 AM
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court observed that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act was designed to protect underage children from sexual exploitation and was never intended to criminalize consensual romantic relationships between young people.
“The purpose of the POCSO, in my view, is to protect children under the age of 18 from sexual exploitation. It was never intended to criminalize consensual romantic relationships between young people,” Justice Jasmit Singh said in approving the POCSO A defendant in the cum-rape case said while out on bail.
The Delhi High Court judge also said that in some cases, survivors of sex crimes may be forced to come to a compromise. Therefore, each case must be investigated on the basis of facts and circumstances, the judge added.
The 17-year-old told the judge she married the (bail) applicant of her own will, she wanted to be with him and there was no pressure on her to make such a decision. The judge then held that this was not a case of a coercive relationship between the defendant and the victim.
The court stated that it was the girl who went to the applicant and proposed to him. It further said the applicant and the girl were in a relationship and consensual sex took place. The judge said the victim was a minor and her statement had no legal force, but their relationship and circumstances should be considered when deciding on a bail request. It said that putting the applicant in jail would constitute a perversion of justice.
In granting bail, the judge noted that this was not a case of the list of applicants being wiped. The court said it was granting the applicant bail, not revoking the FIR.