Meghalaya High Court quashes FIR under POCSO, says 16-yr-old capable of making decision about sex

SHILLONG-  The Meghalaya High Court while quashing an First Investigation Report (FIR) filed against an accused under POCSO Act, 2012 remarked that 16-year-old (minor) are capable of making a conscious decision regarding the act of sexual intercourse.

The Division Bench of Justice W. Diengdoh noted that considering the physical and mental development of the 16 years old girl, it is logical to infer that a conscious decision to indulge into sexual intercourse was made.

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The petitioner pleaded before the court to quash the criminal proceedings against him on the ground that the alleged victim herself clarified that both of them had relations of boyfriend and girlfriend.

The alleged victim also asserted before the police under the Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 and before the court in a deposition that the sexual intercourse was consensual and no force was involved.

The High Court on the basis of evidence and submission made before it quashed the proceedings before the Trial Court under Section 482 CrPC and discharged the petitioner.

Justice Diengdoh pointed out that the purpose of the law to deliver justice should be upheld, even when it is against the provisions stated in a legislation.

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The court relied on the verdict of the Supreme Court in Vijayalakshmi & Anr v. State Rep. By. Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station wherein the court pointed out that since the stringent provisions of POCSO Act were enacted with the intent to protect children from sexual assault, sexual harassment or pornography, it should not be used as a tool to destroy the life of young adolescents who in a consensual romantic relationship decided to have sexual relations.

The mother of the alleged victim had filed an FIR against the petitioner – accused under Section 363 (Kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and Sections 3(a) and 4 of POCSO.

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The petitioner and alleged victim fell in love and entered into a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship when petitioner was working in various households including his girlfriend’s.

On January 18, 2020 the alleged victim met the petitioner when she went out shopping with her cousin. Thereafter, both of them visited the petitioner’s parents and then proceeded to his uncle’s place.

Later that night, the alleged victim and petitioner decided to reside at his uncle’s place where the sexual intercourse happened.


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