The Bombay High Court in the case Shiva Chanappa Odala v. State of Maharashtra & Anr observed and has quashed an FIR which is being registered against a 19-year-old male student under IPC and POCSO for the abduction and sexual assault of a minor teenager with the consent of the complainant’s – mother’s.
The bench headed by Justice Nitin Sambre and SG Dige in the case observed that the couple was on “friendly terms” and lived together without informing the girl’s parents and the said communication was the reason behind the said FIR.
The bench observed that it being contrary to notice that the interest of justice for continuing the criminal proceedings against the said petitioner, a student as both the parties equally will be put to hardship, wherein it has particularly been decided by both of them for quashing by consent on the ground of the reasons which being cited in the consent extended in support of the quashing.
The bench issued for quashing a POCSO case by consent which being pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.
Facts of the Case:
An FIR was being registered by the mother of the victim against the petitioner on 26th November, 2021 for offences punishable under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 after the victim girl, who is aged 15 years, could not be found. It has also been stated under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Sections 8 (sexual assault) and 12 (sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act were also being added.
It has been stated by the teenager’s mother that on asking her daughter as she got to know her daughter eloped with the petitioner on her own accord. It has also been argued by Advocate Vishwanath Patil that there being a communication gap between the teen and her parents. Finally the affidavit stated the allegations of sexual harassment under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was added only subsequently.
The petitioner boy seek to quash the FIR before the High Court, wherein it has been recorded by the court that it had interacted with complainant and found she was not pressured to settle the case.
The bench also relied on two judgements in the case Satender Sharma Vs. State and Anr and Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab wherein it has been held by the court that an FIR lodged out of frustration can be set aside by the consent.
The petitioner who being a student who appears to have been in friendly terms with the victim girl and being out of friendship they appear to have stayed together without there being intimation to the parents of the victim girl which has prompted the mother of the victim girl i.e. the complainant to lodge a complaint.
Accordingly, the bench quashed the FIR..