FIR against Juvenile accused of penetrative sexual assault quashed on ground of opportunity to reform

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Petitioner had filed a petition before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Gurvinder Singh Gill, J. to quash an FIR registered under Sections 377 and 506 IPC and Sections 3 (which explains what amounts to penetrative sexual assault) and 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and any other consequential proceedings. The petitioner in this petition prayed for quashing of the FIR on the ground that the matter had been compromised between the parties.

For quashing, FIR petitioner submitted the report of the Magistrate before whom their matter was compromised. Both petitioner and victim were minor thus were represented through their respective guardians. It was found through the report that the compromise was agreed upon by all in front of respectable persons of society out of their free will.  It was opined that the compromise was genuine and was voluntarily done without any coercion or undue influence.

Petitioner pleaded to the court to consider the present case though offence was non-compoundable, on the ground that petitioner/accused was in his tender age at the time of the incident. Respondent contended that the offences under Sections 3 and 4 of POCSO are serious in nature and cannot be quashed on the basis of a compromise.

The High Court observed that since accused or petitioners were juveniles they should be given an opportunity to reform and since the matter had already been compromised the FIR and proceeding consequential thereto in question should be quashed. Therefore, FIR was quashed and the petition was allowed. [Sunil Kumar v. State of Punjab,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1542, decided on 05-10-2018]

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