The Kerala High Court has quashed a case registered against a man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act after considering that the accused and the victim are now married to each other.
The bench of Justice P Gopinath quashed the case after allowing an appeal of the 30-year-old accused, a native of the state’s Kollam district, who has been facing proceedings in the special court at Punalur since 2022.
The prosecution has said the accused had sexually assaulted the minor victim at a time when she was studying in Class 12 after picking her up from her school in his car. The accused touched the body parts of the minor victim and also raped her on several occasions since 2019, according to the prosecution.
The accused told the court that he and the victim are married and they are living as husband and wife. They got legally married in June this year as per the provisions of the special marriage certificate.
Justice Gopinath, in his order on September 25, said, “I am of the view that this is a fit case where the jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) can be invoked to quash the proceedings against the petitioner. The allegations against the petitioner that pertain to the period when the victim was a minor are that he had taken the victim to various places in his car and had touched her inappropriately on several occasions”.
“The allegations of having entered into a sexual relationship with the victim relate to a period after the victim attained the age of majority. The petitioner and the victim are now living together as husband and wife. Therefore, no useful purpose will be served by continuing with the prosecution against the petitioner,” said Justice Gopinath.