Published on: 25 November 2022 at 18:02 IST
The Bombay High Court recently granted bail to a man accused of raping a minor girl, saying she understood the consequences of her actions by being alone with him and in a relationship with the man. The girl is 15 years old, while the youth is 21 years old.
“It appears that the applicant, being a minor, was capable of understanding the consequences of her act and voluntarily accompanied the applicant to her maternal aunt’s house,” Justice Bharti Dhingra said in her order.
The girl reportedly told her family about the incident on April 29, 2021, after her sister saw WhatsApp messages between the girl and the man. In her statement, the girl has said that she and the man were in a relationship and had gone together to her aunt’s house in Gavandi on April 6, 2021. According to her, once there, he forced her to have sex and also threatened not to talk about the incident.
The man was arrested under Sections 363, 376, and 506 of IPC and Sections 4, 8 and 12 of the POCSO Act last year.
The court, however, said that the minor’s consent is immaterial in this case because she had chosen to go with the accused to a place, they would be alone. “In a case like this, where she voluntarily joined the company of the applicant, and she had categorically admitted that she was in love with the applicant, whether that she consented for the sexual intercourse or not, is the matter of evidence,”
“Till what point of time, she accompanied the applicant and whether she resisted the actual physical indulgence, when according to her, the applicant forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her against her wishes, will have to be determined,” the court continued.
The judge also noted that the girl spoke about the incident only after her family objected to the WhatsApp messages they found. “The time gap between these two events is also crucial as it was always open for the prosecutrix to disclose the aunt about the forcible act if it was committed in her house, but she continued to remain silent and disclosed the incident only when an objection was taken for, she establishing contact with the applicant”.
The court only noted that the accused is a “young boy” and it is possible that he was “smitten by infatuation”.
The court granted the accused bail, while saying that he must not try to contact the girl any way, and also move away from the neighborhood where she lives.