An offence committed against a minor cannot be quashed by consent of his or her parents, the Bombay high court said on Thursday while hearing a plea of five Badlapur residents for allegedly outraging modesty of their college friend and bashing up her male friend.
“How can an offence committed against a minor be quashed with consent?,” said the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed.
The bench, however, agreed to consider their plea on merit, but only after each of them submitted demand drafts of Rs 50,000 each in the court by Monday, when the matter is posted for further hearing.
The group of five Badlapur residents – all in early twenties - has been booked by Badlapur East police following a complaint lodged by one of their college mates alleging that on September 24, they slapped and manhandled her, and beat up her male friend who was accompanying her at the time.
After one of the five was arrested by the police, elders from both the sides came together and decided to resolve the issue amicably. The five then approached high court seeking quashment of the complaint lodged against them, on the strength of consent of the mother of the minor complainant, aged 17 years.
The bench agreed to consider the matter on merit after the petitioner’s lawyer, advocate VV Purwant, pointed out that apart from the ground of consent, petitioners also have a case on merit. He submitted that if the contents of the First Information Report are read, it becomes clear that important offences were not made out.
He submitted that the intention to outrage modesty of the woman is an important ingredient of an offence under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, but the contents of the FIR do not disclose that any of the petitioners had intention to outrage modesty of the girl, and therefore no offence of outraging modesty as contemplated under section 354 was made out.
Purwant said there was a similar situation about the charges levelled against the five under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, as required ingredients are absent in the complaint.