No compromise option in Pocso cases even if victim requests: HC

Reiterating that an offence under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act is not compoundable and even the request of compromise made by the victim cannot be accepted, the Madras High Court directed a person held under Pocso Act to go through the remaining part of the sentence despite him marrying the victim.
No compromise option in Pocso cases even if victim requests: HC

Chennai

Justice P Velmurugan observed while dismissing an appeal moved by one Maruthupandian (Appellant) against the trial court order which sentenced him to undergo 10 years rigorous imprisonment despite him marrying the victim. The trial court along with imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 had also awarded compensation of Rs 1,00,000 to the victim.
Holding that falling in love is not an offence, but having sexual intercourse with the minor child is an offence, the court said, “The appellant made a false promise and had sexual intercourse with the victim and subsequently failed to marry her. When she complained, to escape from the clutches of law, after trial, it is stated by the appellant that they are ready to live, ready to compound the offence and ready to marry the victim, which statement will not take away the offence.”
“The entire evidence shows that the appellant has committed the offence. Now only to escape from clutches of law, after trial, he has come forward with a compromise proposal which cannot be encouraged in a heinous crime as it will defeat the object of Pocso Act,” Justice Velmurugan held.
He also noted, “Once the appellant has committed the offence under the Act, he is liable to be punished. As it is a serious offence and grave in nature committed against children, it is not a compoundable offence and even the request made by the victim cannot be accepted.”
The judge in support of the dismissal of the appeal also cited to the Supreme Court order, which had sought High Courts and trial courts to refrain from making observations and imposing conditions in rape and sexual assault cases, at any stage of judicial proceedings, that trivialises the trauma undergone by survivors and adversely affect their dignity.
Based on this, on holding that the appellant has committed the offence under Section 6 read with 7 of Pocso Act, the court cancelled the suspension of sentence and directed the trial court to secure the appellant/accused to serve the remaining period of sentence.

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