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POCSO Act: Child Abuse Cases Cannot be Dismissed via Compromise, Minor’s Consent Immaterial

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by News Desk

The Allahabad High Court has ruled that child abuse cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) cannot be dismissed based on a compromise between the accused and the victim.

The court stated that the consent of the minor prosecutrix is immaterial for registration of the offence, and such consent remains immaterial for all practical purposes at all stages, including for compromise.

Justice Samit Gopal observed that the consent of the prosecutrix is material under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, as it is a Special Act.

The court was hearing a plea challenging summons and cognisance orders and seeking a stay on criminal proceedings against the accused under Sections 376 (rape) and 313 (non consensual miscarriage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as Sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO Act.

The accused moved the High Court contending that after the first information report (FIR) was lodged, completion of the investigation, and summoning of the accused by the trial court for the alleged offences, a compromise had been reached between the parties.

Counsel for the victim also endorsed the accused’s plea. Counsel representing the State argued that the accusations against the accused centered on subjecting the victim to sexual assault over a span of three years, with the victim being around 15 years old at the time of the alleged offence.

The court refused to allow the plea, with Senior Advocate Prem Prakash and Advocate Doodh Nath Yadav appearing for the accused and Government Advocate Ramesh Kumar for the opposite party.

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