The Kerala High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against a man accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) as he entered into a marriage with the complainant. The Court also observed that the complaint had been filed only because the accused had withdrawn from his marriage proposal on an earlier occasion.

In that context, the Bench of Justice Gopinath P observed that, "the continuance of proceedings against the petitioner will be prejudicial to the victim as well. Moreover, even going by the First Information Statement of the 2nd respondent/defacto complainant/victim, an engagement ceremony had been conducted in connection with the then proposed marriage between the petitioner and the 2nd respondent/defacto complainant/victim and the complaint came to be filed only on account of the fact that the petitioner had thereafter withdrawn from the marriage proposal."

Counsel Anand Kalyanakrishnan and Counsel C Dheeraj Rajan appeared for the petitioner, while Public Prosecutor G Sudheer and Counsel Abrahan Mathan appeared for the State.

In this case, the petitioner faced charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The allegations involved developing intimacy and engaging in sexual abuse and intercourse with the complainant. Despite an initially planned marriage, the petitioner withdrew, prompting legal action.

The petitioner secured interim bail, and during this period, the marriage with the complainant took place. The marriage certificate was issued on December 8, 2023. With the complainant expressing no grievance, the petitioner sought to quash further proceedings, citing the precedent in Vishnu v. State of Kerala [2023 (4) KHC 1].

In Vishnu vs State of Kerala, it had been observed that cases where the victim got married and led a peaceful life, should be closed, as allowing the prosecution to continue in those cases would only result in the disturbance of the parties' happy family life.

Taking into account the facts of the case and the view taken in Vishnu vs State of Kerala, the Court allowed the petition and the proceedings against the petitioner were squashed.

Cause Title: XXX vs State of Kerala & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Judgment