SC to examine if POCSO cases can be quashed on basis of compromise between accused and victim
The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a legal question of whether Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act cases can be quashed on the basis of compromise between the accused and the victim.
A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and A S Oka stayed a Kerala High Court order, dated August 26, 2019, quashing a first information report (FIR) registered against an accused under the POCSO Act, 2012 only on the basis of a compromise being carried out between the parties.
The apex court issued a notice on the appeal filed by the Kerala government against the order.
The accused in this case, a teacher by profession, was booked for offences under sections of the POCSO Act that pertain to those, being on the management or staff of an educational institution or religious institution, commit sexual assault on a child in that institution.
"Counsel for the petitioners submits that the FIR... at Malappuram Police Station, District Malappuram, for the offences punishable under Sections 9(f) and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, has been quashed only on the basis of a compromise being carried out between the parties which according to him is not permissible in view of the judgment of this court," the bench said.
"Issue notice, returnable in eight weeks. In the meanwhile, there shall be stay of impugned order dated August 26, 2019, until further orders in reference to the afore-stated FIR and let the petitioners may undertake investigation pursuant thereto," it said.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Kerala government against the high court order that the entire dispute between the petitioner and the respondents had been settled amicably with the minor girl's mother submitting an affidavit that she had no objection towards the quashing of the impugned criminal proceedings pending against the accused.
The accused in this case was booked for offences under Sections 9(f) and 10 of the POCSO Act.
Section 9(f) of the Act states whoever being on the management or staff of an educational institution or religious institution, commits sexual assault on a child in that institution.
Section 10 prescribes stringent punishment for aggravated sexual assault, and lays down a minimum of five years imprisonment, extendable to seven years and with fine.