Sunday, August 12, 2018

MP high court: Minor’s ‘consent’ for sex no consent at all

A minor’s ‘consent’ for sex is no consent, the MP high court has said, setting aside a sessions court acquittal of an accused in a child rape case.

On April 26, 2016, a special judge in Seoni district had acquitted accused Sooraj Prasad Deharia, who was charged with rape under IPC and Pocso Act, on benefit of doubt.

The sessions court had based the acquittal on medical report, which said there was no injury on the survivor’s body, and noted that she did not raise an alarm when the assault took place. This gives sufficient reason to believe that it was consensual sex, the lower court felt.

The state government filed a revision petition and a division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V K Shukla set aside the sessions court order.

According to the school admission register and radiological examination, the girl was less than 14 years old, the judges noted, and said that even if she had consented, it couldn’t be treated as “consensual sex”. The judges said: “...Consent is not permissible in respect of such a victim. Hence, an offence under Section 376 IPC is disclosed.”

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