The Delhi High court recently quashed an FIR filed for rape and offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. It used its inherent power under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc).
The court was inclined to reject the FIR and proceedings given the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, said Justice Subramonium Prasad.
The facts of the case said that the father of a minor girl had filed a missing persons complaint. It alleged that the petitioner who was then 18 years old, had kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter in 2019. After the FIR was lodged, the girl was handed over to her parents by the petitioner’s mother. The girl in her statement said that she was married to the petitioner and seven months pregnant. On this basis, charges of rape and offences under the POCSO Act were added to the FIR.
After the bail was granted to the petitioner, a formal wedding ceremony was performed in presence of friends and family. Soon after the marriage, the girl delivered a baby boy.
In light of the fact that the father of the girl had accepted the marriage, the petitioner approached HC seeking to reject the FIR.
Justice Prasad noted that section 482 gave inherent powers to the High Court to prevent the abuse of law and more particularly, to secure justice. While stating this the High Courts must show restrain in rejecting the FIRs for offences under sections 376 of IPC and the POCSO Act.
He considered the fact that the lives of the couple and their child would be ruined if the criminal proceedings against the petitioner were to be continued. The court asked the prosecution if any objections on exercising jurisdiction under section 483 of CrPc to quash the FIR prevailed.