Monday, February 21, 2022

'Love Affair' Irrelevant Ground For Bail When Victim Is A Minor Girl : Supreme Court In POCSO Case

Noting that once prima facie it appears that the prosecutrix was a minor, the grounds that there was a "love affair" between her and the accused and the accused's alleged refusal to marry would be extraneous for bail, the Supreme Court on 22/02/22 set aside the bail granted to an accused under section 376, IPC and section 6, POCSO.

The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant was hearing an appeal arising from an August 2021 decision of a Single Judge of the High Court of Jharkhand by which the application for bail of the second respondent/accused had been allowed, subject to conditions.

The bench then proceeded to hold that, "In our view, the High Court was manifestly in error in allowing the application for bail, particularly on the ground that from the statement under section 164 as well as the averments in the FIR, it appears that there was a 'love affair' between the appellant and the second respondent and the case was instituted only on the point of the refusal of the second respondent to solemnise marriage with the appellant."

The bench continued to observe in its order, "Once prima facie it appears from the material before the court that the appellant was barely 13 years of age on the date when the alleged offence took place, the ground that there was a 'love affair' between the appellant and the second respondent, as well as the alleged refusal to marry, maybe circumstances against the grant of bail."

X (Minor) V. The State Of Jharkhand And Anr.

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