The accused, Anil Khushalkar had committed rape on the minor girl who was the petitioner under the guise of being in love with her. The petitioner had lodged a complaint with the police in 2019. The petitioner had become pregnant after which the accused kidnapped her and took her to another city, Kohlapur. After investigation of the case, the accused was filed under rape sections of the IPC and the POCSO Act for the rape of a minor girl.
Both the accused and the girl had sought the HC's Kalaburagi bench, alleging that they had since married and had a child and that the proceedings before a special court in Basavana Bagewadi, Vijayapura district, should be quashed. It was contended that continuing the procedures would serve no use. The girl also claimed to have been 19 at the time of the alleged encounter. Justice Sandesh, however, refused to accept the representations, stating that when an accused commits a crime under Section 376 of the IPC against a minor girl, even if she gives consent, it is not considered consent at all. In response to the claim that she was a major at the time, the judge stated that the question of whether she was a minor or a major must be decided by the trial court and that the high court cannot comprehend the fact.
The petitioners cited the High Court's decision in Vijaya Kumar vs. State,[i] which held that, while the offences are punishable under Section 376 of the IPC and the provisions of the POCSO Act, the petition filed under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. should be allowed and the proceedings should be quashed because the parties have settled their dispute and the accused and victim are living together.
The court cited the Supreme Court's decision in the Gian Singh case,[ii] noting that the power of a high court to quash a criminal proceeding, FIR, or complaint in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of the CrPC is distinct and distinct from the power granted to a criminal court to compound offences under section 320 of the CrPC.
In this instance, the accused committed the crime of rape on a minor girl, which is punishable under both the IPC and the POCSO Act. The Supreme Court has clearly held that in the instance of a serious rape offence, the Court cannot use the power under Section 482 of the CrPC since it will have a social impact. "Because the Court must assess the legislation and object in introducing the special enactment of the POCSO Act, exercising power under Section 482 of the CrPC does not arise," the court ruled.
Citing the above principle, the High Court dismissed the petition to quash the proceedings of the case even though the parties had reached a mutual agreement. The High Court also stated that in a case of heinous crime of rape, even if the parties had settled the dispute, the same cannot be accepted and the proceedings of the court cannot be quashed as it will have a serious impact on society.
[i] 2020(3) KCCR 2419,
[ii] Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, 1962 AIR 219
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