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Quashing POCSO case against intent of legislature to protect children: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court has recently refused to exercise its jurisdiction to quash an FIR registered for offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) saying that the same would “go against the intention of the legislature to protect the interests of children.”

In an order dated March 24, a single judge bench of the high court presided over by Justice Subramanium Prasad said, “Exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC to quash an offence under POCSO Act would go against the intention of the legislature which has brought out the special enactment to protect the interests of children.”

“FIR cannot be quashed on the ground that the victim after attaining majority has decided to compromise the matter with the accused,” the bench said while dismissing a petition filed under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking quashing of the case on the grounds of compromise. 

The plea filed through Advocate Deepak Kumar Gupta sought quashing of an FIR dated 07.05.2018 registered in Police Station Shakarpur for offences punishable under Sections 354, 354D, 506, 509, 34 IPC and Section 10 POCSO Act on the ground that the prosecutrix and the petitioners have compromised the matter.

The plea states that the compromise has been entered into between the prosecutrix, who has now turned major, the mother of the prosecutrix and the petitioner. 

According to the facts of the case, the prosecutrix had alleged that the petitioner, who was her distant relative, began to stay in her house and that he started to “started looking at her with strange eyes” in the absence of her parents.

It was further alleged that the accused, along with his other two nephews threatened her regarding her photographs and even to kill her parents. 

The high court while pronouncing the order noted that the Supreme Court has categorically stated that heinous crime like rape cannot be quashed by the High Court by exercising power under Section 482 Cr.P.C., even if the prosecutrix and the accused have entered into a compromise. 

It also noted that though the High Court has the power to quash even in those offences which are not compoundable, where the parties have settled the matter between themselves, but the power has to be exercised fairly and with caution. 

While concluding its order, the court said, “this Court is not inclined to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC for quashing the FIR dated 07.05.2018 registered in Police Station Shakarpur, wherein the petitioners have been accused of the offence under Section 10 of POCSO Act. The petition is accordingly dismissed.”

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