Monday, November 22, 2021

Consideration the romantic relationship between a minor victim and a man accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) while granting the latter bail in a sexual assault case lodged-The Meghalaya High Court

"On perusal of the records, particularly the statement of the victim and the accused, prima facie it is apparent that there is a romantic relationship between the two and that the sexual act involved between them was one of consensual, notwithstanding the fact that in the case of an alleged victim being a minor, consent has no legal validity, however, this aspect of the matter cannot be lost sight of while a plea for grant of bail is being considered by the court."
The Court passed the order in a bail plea filed on behalf of the accused in relation to a case registered against him under Sections 5 and 6 (penetrative and aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act. The accused and the victim were stated to be in a romantic relationship with each other.

Relay up on and cited the Madras High Court decision in Vijayalakshmi and Anr. v. State represented by the Inspector of Police and Another, in which it was held that the POSCO Act did not intend to penalise teenagers in a relationship who consented to sexual acts between them.

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