‘Court not completely foreclosed in using power to quash proceedings in sexual offence case’ - Hindustan Times
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‘Court not completely foreclosed in using power to quash proceedings in sexual offence case’

ByJItendra Sarin
Jun 14, 2023 06:01 PM IST

Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal allowed the petition filed by a man who had challenged criminal proceedings pending against him in a Bareilly court.

PRAYAGRAJ The Allahabad High Court has observed that though it should not normally interfere with the criminal proceeding involving sexual offence against women and children only on the basis of ground of settlement, it is not completely foreclosed in exercising its extraordinary power under section 482 CrPC to quash such proceedings.

Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal heard the petition. (HT Photo)
Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal heard the petition. (HT Photo)

The court opined that in such cases, a ‘holistic approach’ ought to be adopted considering issues from different perspectives in order to identify the cases fit for a compromise while keeping in mind certain conditions. The court held that proceedings of rape cases and proceedings under POCSO Act can be quashed by it if no offence is made out against the accused from the material available on record but the police had filed chargesheet in routine manner without looking into the material collected during the investigation.

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Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal allowed the petition filed by a man who had challenged criminal proceedings pending against him in a Bareilly court on the ground that victim in her statement before magistrate had stated that she had willingly married the accused and victim’s mother lodged the false rape case to extract 5 lakh from her husband (applicant).

The court observed, “Though the HC should not normally interfere with the criminal proceeding involving sexual offence against women and children only on the basis of ground of settlement, however it is not completely foreclosed in exercising its extraordinary power u/s 482 CrPC to quash such proceeding.”

“This court opined that in such cases, a holistic approach ought to be adopted considering issue from different perspective, in order to identify the cases fit for compromise, keeping in mind: nature and effect of offence on the consciousnesses of society, seriousness of injury, voluntary nature of compromise between the accused and victim and conduct to the accused person, prior to and after the occurrence of the purported offence or other relevant considerations,” added the bench.

The court then observed, “In the present case, it is clearly established from the statement of victim recorded u/s 164 CrPC as well as radiological examination of the victim that she is above 18 years and the victim in her statement u/s 164 CrPC has clearly stated that she got married to the applicant on 10.7.2014 willingly.”

The court, while allowing the petition, observed, “Therefore, this court opined that the proceedings under POCSO Act as well as u/s 376 IPC can be quashed if no case is made out from the material available on record but the police has filed chargesheet in routine manner without looking into the material collected during the investigation.”

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