Karnataka HC rejects bail application filed before recording of victim’s statement as mandated under S. 35(1) of POCSO

Karnataka High Court: While passing the order in a Criminal Petition filed under Section 439 of CrPC, praying to enlarge the petitioner on bail in a criminal case registered for offences punishable under S. 354A of IPC and Sections 7 and 8 of POCSO Act, a Single Judge Bench of Rathnakala, J. rejected the petition holding that it was not in fitness of things to adjudicate the petition on merits.

The petitioner was in judicial custody. During the pendency of the petition, the charge-sheet was submitted in the court.

The Court was of the view that as per mandate of S. 35(1) of the POCSO Act, the Special Court is obliged to record the statement of the victim within one month from the date of taking cognizance of the offence. And since the statement of the victim was not recorded, it was not a fit case to be considered on merits.

Accordingly, the petition was rejected directing the Special Court to pre-pone the case, frame the charge and record victim’s statement within 30 days. Liberty was given to the petitioner to file a fresh bail petition after recording of the statement of the victim. [Alwin Selvakumar v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 5799/2017, dated August 28, 2017]

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