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'Control sexual urge,' Calcutta High Court advises adolescent girls [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      23 October, 2023 01:17 PM      0 Comments
Control sexual urge Calcutta High Court advises adolescent girls

The Calcutta High Court has suggested that every female adolescent should "control sexual urge/urges" and "protect her right to integrity of her body".

A bench of Justices Chitta Ranjan Dash and Partha Sarathi Sen set aside the conviction of a man, who has married the minor girl and became a father of a girl, stating that this was a case of "non-exploitative consensual sexual relationship between two consenting adolescents though consent in view of the age of the victim is immaterial".

The bench referred to the unintended consequence of the POCSO Act, and called for a balanced approach between protecting children and avoiding the criminalisation of consensual acts among adolescents above 16 years.

"We, therefore, do not propose to suggest to tinker with the age of consent in the POCSO Act. We leave it to the Law Commission of India and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to deliberate on this aspect to give their suggestions to the appropriate Government. So far as the case of criminalisation of romantic relationship between two adolescents of opposite sex is concerned it should better be left to the wisdom of the judiciary. Each judiciary in the world has the nicety of pluralism. Each individual judge has his/her own opinion. He/She has his/her own unique style of addressing an issue," the bench said.

Besides, the bench said, "It is the duty/obligation of every female adolescent to: protect her right to integrity of her body; protect her dignity and self-worth; thrive for overall development of her self transcend ing gender barriers; control sexual urge/urges as in the eyes of the society she is the loser when she gives in to enjoy the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes; protect her right to autonomy of her body and her privacy."

For male adolescents, the bench said they should "respect the aforesaid duties of a young girl or woman and he should train his mind to respect a woman, herself worth, her dignity and privacy, and right to autonomy of her body".

The court also highlighted the need for parental guidance for adolescents and requisite sex education with emphasis on the these aspects and reproductive health and hygiene should be a part of the curriculum of every school.

"We do not want our adolescents to do anything that will push them from the dark to darker side of life. It is normal for each adolescent to seek the company of the opposite sex but it is not normal for them to engage in sex devoid of any commitment and dedication," the bench said.

The victim herself used to appear before the court during the hearing. On third day, the bench decided to quiz her. She revealed she was a rural area and came to the appellant on her own. She also said she did not know her relationship was an offence under the law.

 

[Read Judgment]



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