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Compromise under POCSO? Yes, says Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court has recently quashed an FIR filed against a man, age 25 accused of sexual assault on a 17-year-old boy after victim's father and the accused reached an codial settlement.

The Court accordingly directed the Registry to deposit the amount of ₹50,000 submitted partly by accused and partly by the victim for showing bona-fides, with the District Bar Association for disbursement to Advocates in need due to Covid-19 financial distress.

It was submitted to the Court that the matter was amicably worked out between applicant accused and the father of the victim.

Additional Public Prosecutor, however raised objection on entertaining the plea for quashing in the last hearing and submitted that the Court shouldn't indulge at a belated stage, that is after the filing of the charge-sheet. He contended that the Investigating Agency has already invested ample time on investigation.

The Court however passed an order on July 10, 2020 and recorded willingness of the applicant and victim's father to deposit ₹25,000 each with the Registry to show the bona fides. Accordingly, both parties deposited the amount.

The Court found that considering the nature of accusations made by the applicant and the fact that the victim boy, though minor, was aged about 17 years at the time of the incident and as the parties have amicably worked out the matter and the trial has not yet commenced, it was of the view that no fruitful purpose would be achieved by keeping the trial pending and interests of justice would be sub-served by quashing the proceedings

Thus, the Court quashed the FIR against the accused/applicant. The Registry has been directed to handover the deposited amount of ₹50,000 to the District Bar Association, Nagpur.

Reporter – Srijan Vasireddy

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