Rape & Molestation Cases Under POCSO Act Cannot Be Quashed Based On Compromise: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court has held that prosecution in heinous offences such as rape and molestation of minors, punishable under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 cannot be quashed on the basis of a compromise between the accused and the victim.
Justice JJ Munir held thus while rejecting the plea by the accused seeking quashing of criminal case registered under POCSO Act based on compromise-
“…this Court is of opinion that prosecution in heinous offences such as rape and molestation of minors, which are punishable under the Act of 2012, the victims do not have the freedom to compromise as if it were a compoundable offence or a civil cause.”
The Court also added that the endeavour of the Court in a matter involving such a heinous offence is to determine the truth of the allegations. It observed that the purpose is not to persecute the accused nor is it to let him off, because his relations with the complainant has taken a happier turn.
Advocate Raghav Ram appeared for the accused.
According to the FIR lodged by the complainant, she became friends with the accused, who allegedly held out a false promise to marry her. The complainant has five children - two daughters and three sons begotten of her deceased husband. The FIR further says that the accused had carnal relations with her and also molested her daughter.
On the basis of the said FIR, case under Sections 376(1), 323, 357-ka, 504, 506 of the IPC and Section 7/8 PCOSO Act has been registered.
The Counsel for the accused pointed out that the accused and the woman have married and are living together as man and wife. It is pointed out by the Counsel for the accused that the complainant has filed an application before the Special Judge that in view of parties' marriage, she does not want to pursue the prosecution.
The Court held that in a matter like the present one, the Court cannot interdict the prosecution and quash proceedings for the saying of the complainant, based on compromise between parties.
Accordingly, the plea was rejected.
Cause Title- Om Prakash v. State of U.P. and Another