Allahabad HC grants bail to POCSO accused
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday granted bail to a man accused under POCSO and observed that youth in their tender age become victim to legal parameters rightly framed by the legislature, but here this Court is being drawn to make an exception in the extraordinary circumstances of the case.
A single bench of Justice Krishan Pahal allowed the bail application of the accused seeking bail under Sections 363, 366, 504, 506, 376 IPC & Sections 3/4 of POCSO Act, Police Station Mitauli, District Lakhimpur Kheri, during the pendency of trial.
The applicant is stated to have enticed away the minor daughter of the informant at night in May 2018. As per the allegations in the FIR, he is stated to have left her alone outside the village in December 2018 i.e. after a period of about six months. The victim was found to be pregnant at that time and is stated to have given birth to a girl child in December 2018.
The counsel for the applicant has stated that the petitioner was madly in love with the victim and had eloped with the victim and married her in a temple although the said marriage is not registered. The counsel for the applicant has further stated that although the statement of the victim recorded under Section 164 CrPC. is against the applicant, the same has been garnered out of fear of the family members of the girl. The applicant and the victim belong to the same village and the same community.
He further argued that the applicant proposes to rear his child as he is the father and he is very much willing to keep his married wife and the newborn baby with him. Several other submissions have been made on behalf of the applicant to demonstrate the falsity of the allegations made against him. The circumstances which, as per counsel, led to the false implication of the applicant have also been touched upon at length. The applicant has been languishing in jail since 01.10.2019. In case, the applicant is released on bail, he will not misuse the liberty of bail. There are no criminal antecedents of the applicant.
Per contra, Girjesh Kumar Dwivedi, Additional Government Advocate (AGA), has opposed the bail application but has not disputed the fact that out of the said union of the couple, a baby girl was born and she is more than three and half years of age as present, who is being taken care of by the parents of the victim, although he has not disputed the fact that the applicant has no criminal history.
While considering the petition, the Court held that the matter shatters the consciousness of one and all. What is the fault of the newborn baby who has come to the world under such circumstances?
“In this conservative and non-permissive society, it is true that marriage in the same village is prohibited and is not customary, and it may be an after-effect of media and cinema. Instances of marriage in the same village are on the rise. This does adversely affect the social fabric. Both the accused and the victim are of very young age and have barely attained the age of majority. A baby girl has been born out of their wedlock. Though the marriage may not be described as per the law of the land, but the Court has to apply a pragmatic approach in such conditions and indeed both the families are required to act practically. A lot of water has flown down the Ganges. Now, it’s time to move ahead,’ the Court observed.
The Court further opined that a hypertechnical and mechanical approach shall do no good to the parties and why should an innocent baby for no fault of hers bear the brutalities of the society in the present circumstances. Human psychosis and that too of the adolescents has to be taken into account.
The High Court relied on the case of Atul Mishra vs. State of U.P. And 3 others , which has also done away with the stringent provisions of the POCSO Act under the extra-ordinary circumstances of the case.
Keeping in view the nature of the offence, evidence on record regarding complicity of the accused, larger mandate of the Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the dictum of Apex Court in the case of Dataram Singh Vs. State of UP and another, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the High Court is of the view that the applicant has made out a case for bail.