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Compromise can’t erase offence under POCSO Act, says Madras High Court

A case was registered against the appellant for the offence under Sections 417, 376 IPC and u/s.5(l) read with 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The Madras High Court has recently said that compromise won’t take away the offence if once the victim girl files a complaint for an offence under the POCSO Act, and the case is registered, it becomes an offence against the State.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice P. Velmurugan said this while hearing a Criminal Appeal passed the order on Tuesday.

The criminal appeal has been filed under Sections 482 and 391 Code for Criminal Procedure, seeking to take additional evidence of the victim by recording her deposition before the Court and to mark the affidavit filed by the victim.

A case was registered against the appellant for the offence under Sections 417, 376 IPC and u/s.5(l) read with 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The Special Judge after trial, convicted the appellant under Section 5(l) read with 6 of POCSO Act and sentenced him to undergo 10 years Rigorous Imprisonment.

Challenging the judgment, the appellant has moved High Court During the pendency of the appeal, he has filed the Petition to take additional evidence of the victim by recording the deposition before the Court u/s.482 and 391 CrPC.

The Counsel for the appellant submit that even during the trial, the victim filed the Petition praying to further examine herself as she intends to untold the truth before the trial Court in u/s.311 Cr.P.C., however the said Petition was dismissed.

The victim girl sworn affidavit on February 8, 2021 before the Court, pursuant to the order of the Court passed in the Crl.M.P. No. 6452 of 2019 for suspension of sentence. In the said affidavit it is stated that both the appellant and the victim girl are living together for the past four years and they are living and they settled the matter and therefore, prayed to allow the appeal and to set aside the order of the trial Court and let them live peacefully.

The Government Advocate submitted that already sufficient opportunity given to the appellant before the trial Court; he has not let in any evidence or produced any documents.

The Court noted that before the trial Court, the victim girl had deposed and further her statement was also recorded u/s.164 Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate, wherein she had clearly stated that the appellant had committed the offence.

“The evidence of the victim girl is very clear that she was at the age of 17 years on the day of occurrence and the appellant had made a false promise that he would marry her and against her will, he had forceful penetrated sexual intercourse repeatedly with her, subsequently, he refused to marry her,” the Court observed.

“Therefore, at the time of commission of offence, the victim child was aged under 18 and hence, victim is child under Section 2(1)(d) of POCSO Act. The date of birth of the victim girl is June 24, 1997 and the date of offence is June 24, 2014. So at the time of occurrence, she was only 17 years and she has deposed before the trial Court and also prior to that she has given statement before Magistrate,” the Court said.

“Even assuming that victim girl had fallen in love with the appellant and admitted that they are living for four years, even on the date of commission of the offence, provisions of POCSO Act are attracted. It is not a compoundable offence. Subsequently, she cannot turn it to compound the offence,” the Court ordered.

The Court found no merit in the petition and thus, the Petition was dismissed.

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