POCSO Act will apply to a minor Muslim girl who has attained the age of puberty: Delhi High Court.
Written By- Pretika Tiwari
Imran v. State of Delhi through Commissioner of Delhi Police & Ors.
During the hearing of a plea filed for quashing the FIR, filed under Section 376 and 476 of IPC, section 6 of the POSCO Act and section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Delhi HC rejected the argument of the petitioner and observed that since the victim has attained the age of puberty (under the Muslim Law), the rigors of POCSO Act will not be applicable. Justice Jasmeet Singh stated that the Act’s objective is to secure the tender age of the children and protect them from abuse and exploitation. The petitioner had argued against the applicability of section 6 of the POSCO Act, claiming that the girl was a major as she had attained puberty, as per the Muslim Personal Law. But the State contended that section 6 of the Act is not specific to a religion and its sole aim is to protect the children from sexual abuse.
After hearing out the parties, the court agreed with the submission, which mentioned that the POSCO Act aims to protect children below eighteen years old from exploitation and sexual abuse. The court said, “It is not customary law specific, but the aim of the Act is to protect children below the age of 18 years from sexual abuse.” Further adding, “As regards the other arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner are concerned, I am of the view that the same are in the nature of defense and can only be proved/disproved after trial. None of the ingredients of the principles given in State of Haryanav. Bhajanlal, 1992 SCC (Crl.) 426 are applicable to the facts of the present case, and hence, the petition is dismissed.” And therefore, the plea was dismissed.