The Sexual Assault charges against a 22 years old man have been dismissed by the Kerala High Court, due to his subsequent marriage to the prosecutrix.
A charge sheet filed by the police in February 2019 against 22 years old man, charging him with sexual assault and the other offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was quashed by a Bench led by Justice K Haripal.
When the FIR was filed, the prosecutrix was 17 years old. The case was brought to light after the father (who is the complainant in the present case), had approached the police and reported that his daughter had gone missing. After that, charges on aggravated penetrative sexual assault under section 4 read with section 3(a) and section 6 read with section 5 (1) of the POCSO, as well as the repeated rape of the same woman under section 376(2) (n) of the Indian Penal Code were added by the police.
The man was also charged with Kidnapping, Slavery and House Trespass under sections 363, 370, and 450 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
In order to quash the charges against him, the man moved the High Court. He claimed that last November he married the prosecutrix and now the matter is settled between the parties. He further added that he and the prosecutrix who has attained the majority now, are living together as couple.
To support his petition, the man produced affidavits which were filed by the prosecutrix and the complainant, stating that they have no objection to stay the proceedings.
The Court while granting the petition concluded that it would be futile to continue the proceedings, because the prosecutrix and the complainant would not support the case anymore.
The Court further said that,
"As the parties to the case have entered into a matrimonial relationship there is no purpose in continuing the proceedings now."
In his order, Justice K Haripal also stated that, "It is held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court that the Pragmatic approach should be taken in such cases when the dispute is settled by the parties themselves and they approach the Court for quashing the proceedings. In such cases the High Court have to exercise it's inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of the CrPC."
The Court proceeded to quash the case, observing that the couple's well being also required a termination of proceedings and that quashing of the case would not jeopardise public interest either.