The Delhi High Court has quashed a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) case in which the victim married the accused and she was leading a happy married life with him.

The Court took note of the fact that the father of the victim registered an FIR against the accused out of anger and misunderstanding.

A Single Bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain held, “The petitioner and the respondent no.3 were known to each other and were having liking for each other. The petitioner and the respondent no.3 married with each other and with the passage of time, they have been blessed with two children who are of tender age. … As observed in Ramgopal & another V State of Madhya Pradesh the High Court need to adopt a pragmatic approach to ensure that quashing is not paralyze the very object of the administration of criminal justice system and a restrictive construction of inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code may lead to rigid or specious justice which may lead to grave injustice. The antecedents of the petitioner are clear and never been indulged in criminal activities.”

The Bench noted that the accused and victim belong to lower strata of the society and that they are leading happy married life without any discord and trouble between them.

Advocate Nikhil Arora appeared on behalf of the petitioner/accused while APP Manjeet Arya appeared on behalf of the respondent/State.

Facts of the Case -

An FIR was registered based on a complaint made by the victim’s father wherein he suspected that some unknown person kidnapped his daughter after taking out from his guardianship. During the investigation, the petitioner was arrested and a charge sheet was filed for the offence under Sections 363/376 of the IPC and under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, Act 2012 (POCSO Act). It was stated that the victim had gone to Gujarat in the year 2018 along with the petitioner and expressed her desire to live with him.

The supplementary statement of the victim’s father was recorded under section 161 Cr.P.C. during investigation, wherein he expressed his desire not to proceed with the complaint. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner and victim got married and became parents of two children. It was further submitted that the petitioner was employed as a driver and was taking care of the victim and their children. The complainant stated that he was not interested in the continuance of consequential judicial proceedings as he got registered the said FIR out of his anger and misunderstanding.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case observed, “The petitioner and the respondent no.3 have become the part of the main stream of the society. The petitioner and respondent no.3 have undertaken to build the future life of their children by mutual love, affection and understanding.”

The Court said that there is remote and bleak possibility of conviction and that the continuance of legal proceedings shall cause great oppression and prejudice to the petitioner and victim as they shall be subjected to extreme injustice.

“… an end to legal proceedings arising out of FIR bearing no. 0563/2018 would be appropriate and be in the interest of society. The petitioner is also taking care of the respondent no.3 and children”, added the Court.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition and quashed the proceedings.

Cause Title- Arjun Kamti v. The State of GNCT of Delhi through SHO & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC:5537)

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