AT THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL BAIL APPLICATION NO. 2632 OF 2019
Anirudha Radheshyam Yadav …Applicant
The State of Maharashtra …Respondent
FACTS OF THE CASE
The victim of the case was 14years and 11months old. The applicant was 25 years old during the time of the incident.
According to the victim’s statement, she left her parent’s house at 1 am secret with her belongings, and with the accused, they travelled to Delhi. According to her account, she moved with the complainant to UP for two days, where she was persuaded by the complainant’s relative to go back home. So they both left to Mumbai. Later, the man was arrested at the Mumbai Airport under the provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
1. Whether the provisions of POCSO Act will apply on the accused even though she voluntarily eloped with the Accused?
The counsel on behalf of the victim submitted that the facts described above clearly indicate that the accused has not even remotely induced her to leave her parent’s house. The Court relied on the ratio laid down in the case S. Varadarajan Vs. State of Madra,
“Where a minor girl alleged to be taken away by the accused person, had left her father s protection ’ knowing and having the capacity to understand the full import of what she was doing and voluntarily joined the accused, it could not be said that the accused had taken her away from the keeping of her lawful guardian within the meaning of section 361 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.”
The Court found the accused to be a victim and the application of bail was granted. The provisions of Section 4, 6, 8 of POCSO Act is concerned, it may be stated that the rules of this law are, though, stringent in nature, would not deter the Court to grant or refuse bail to secure the ends of justice. The facts of the case indicate she had sufficient knowledge, and it was her sole decision to go out of her parent’s house because of the love and affection she has towards him.
The case is peculiar, and keeping the facts into consideration, the stringent provisions under POCSO Act should not step in the way of justice. The prosecution is not something where he promised to marry, not a reason because of some sexual intercourse. The girl, even though a minor, had sufficient knowledge about the situation and voluntarily joined the complainant. The Bail application granted to the complainant is welcoming, considering the facts of the case.
(By – Ukkash F)