[POCSO] Guj HC | Lack of legal awareness amongst children, lends them as offenders in serious matters; Minor boy lent himself in the net of law by taking away minor girl

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Sonia Gokani and N.V. Anjaria, JJ.,while addressing matter wherein a minor boy had taken away the minor girl and were missing for a significant amount of time, stated that,

“…right kind of understanding needs to be given, in the form of legal awareness amongst the children and college students so that society can simultaneously protect very young minor boys, who due to their lack of understanding of law, turn into the offenders in serious matters.”

Background of the case

On 18th March, 2020 a report was filed before the Court wherein it was stated that the the Investigating Officer had intimated his superior of the factum of the minor girl having been abducted by his son.

Further bearing in mind the young age of the corpus, the Deputy Superintendent of Police had been handed over the investigation.

On 1st June, 2020 Court had directed SP Mehsana to file his report and to make all efforts to trace the corpus and produce before the Court.

In response to the above, till date his team has not been able to get the custody of the corpus.

Present position in the matter

Corpus has been present in the Court through video conference. Superintendent of Police, Mehsana submitted that the corpus was not found from the residence of respondent 5 but was found from some place of the relatives.

Court observed that, corpus has shown her disinclination when inquired specifically by this Court to join the parents.

She being a minor, her wish would have no relevance, however, she cannot be forced to go to her parents, as according to her, they tried to engage her elsewhere before she turns major, so that, she may not be able to exercise her own wish and marry the person of her own choice.

As she was unwilling to join the parents, Court directed for her to be housed at Women Protection Home, Patan.

Further the Court noticed that respondent 5 who himself is a minor was yet to be found.

Bench was pained to learn that respondent 5 himself being a minor had chosen to take away the corpus who is also a minor lending himself in the net of law, particularly of the POCSO Act.

“…young boys who themselves are not major, many a times without realizing the consequences of their act, or many a times actuated by frenzy of youth, with careless approach towards stringent laws eventually label themselves as offenders in the matters of POCSO, and face serious consequences of rigorous punishment prescribed under the law.”

Police Superintendent ensured the Court that he would take up the issue with Anti-Human Trafficking cell and District Legal Services Authority for creating awareness amongst the youngsters.

Parents could meet the girl at women protection home in the presence of one of the office bearers only with the clear understanding that she can’t be forced to do anything against her will.

In view of the above. matter is to be posted on 25th August, 2020. [Vikramsinh Champaksinh Parmar v. State of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 960 , decided on 29-06-2020]

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