Friday, July 8, 2022

POCSO Act will apply even if girl has attained puberty and become major under Muslim personal law: Delhi High Court

A man had challenged the FIR registered against him under Sections of IPC and POCSO arguing that the girl had attained puberty and was, therefore, a major under Muslim law.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday rejected the argument by a Muslim man that he cannot be charged under the POCSO Act because the girl with whom he allegedly established sexual relations, had attained puberty and was, therefore, a major according to Muslim Personal Law.

The object of the Act is to secure the tender age of children and ensure they are not abused and their childhood and youth is protected against exploitation, the court noted.

“For the reasons above, I reject the contention of the petitioner that according to Muslim law since the victim has attained the age of puberty the rigours of POCSO Act will not be applicable.” -  The Court

The Court was dealing with a petition seeking the quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) registered under Section 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act.

It was stated that the accused had visited the girl’s house and requested her parents for marriage. The parents agreed on the condition that the marriage will take place only after the girl clear her class XII exams.

Several gifts were also handed over to the man by the girl’s family along with a sum of ₹10 lakh. The FIR alleged that the man had established sexual relations with a girl aged 16 years and five months but later refused to marry her.

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