Child Sex Abuse Cases Can’t Be Dismissed Based On Compromise: High Court

Child Sex Abuse Cases Can't Be Dismissed Based On 'Compromise': High Court

The judge was hearing a petition seeking a stay on the criminal proceedings against the accused.


The Allahabad High Court has observed that crimes under ‘Special Statutes’ like the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences or POCSO can’t be dismissed merely based on “compromise” between the victim and the offender.

“Once the consent of the minor prosecutrix is immaterial for registration of the offence, then such consent shall still remain immaterial for all practical purposes at all the stages including for compromise. Merely because the minor prosecutrix has later on agreed to enter into a compromise with the applicant, would not be sufficient to quash the proceedings,” said a single judge bench of justice Samit Gopal in a decision on April 2.

The judge presided over a petition seeking a stay on the criminal proceedings against the accused who claimed that after the filing of the case, the conclusion of the investigation and summoning of the applicant by the trial court for the alleged offences, a compromise was reached between the parties, so the pending case be decided accordingly. The counsel for the victim also supported the petition of the accused.

The counsel of the state opposing the accused-applicant’s petition, said the victim, who was 15 when the crime first happened, was subjected to sexual assault over a period of three years.

“It is clear that where the prosecutrix is a minor below 18 years of age, then her consent would be immaterial. When an offence is made out against the accused irrespective of the fact that whether the prosecutrix was a consenting party or not, then certainly, the prosecution cannot be quashed merely on the ground that at a later stage the prosecutrix has entered into a compromise,” the court said.

While making the observations, the judge also referred to the Supreme Court’s 2014 judgments where it had said, “Such a power is not be exercised in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society”.

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