Gujarat High Court: A.S. Supehia, J. allowed a bail application in connection with FIR filed for the offences under Sections 363, 366, 376(2)(n), 376(3) of the Penal Code, 1860 as well as Sections 4, 6, and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

The complainant in the FIR mentioned that she had a suspicion on her daughter prosecutrix, who was aged 15 years 07 months and 29 days and was studying in the 10th Std thus when she inquired about the same she admitted her relationship with the applicant since one and half years ago. It was alleged that the applicant coerced her to meet again and again. It was further alleged that one year ago the applicant forced the prosecutrix to meet him outside her society and on the same day, at around 7 p.m., the applicant took her to an open ground in the Naroda GIDC where the applicant, had forced her to have physical relationship and again after one and half months, without her wish, she was forced to have such relationship, and lastly she had physical relations, around last Diwali also. It was alleged that during the last act, the applicant had promised her to marry her and on such wrong pretext, he had developed physical relationship.

The Court after hearing both the parties drew some observations keeping in mind the decision of the Supreme Court in Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v. State  Of Maharashtra, (2011) 1 SCC 694 where certain parameters were drawn by the Supreme Court. The Court noted that the allegations of having developed physical relationship by the applicant with the prosecutrix are prior to his attaining the age of majority. The Court stated that, the first step of turning him into a hardcore criminal will be sending him behind bars. The moment he is allowed to go behind bars, the efforts to make him a good and law abiding citizen will get dented. The applicant is a young student studying in First Year college and it is expected from him to observe and follow the fundamental duties of a good citizen as enshrined in Article 51-A of the Constitution of India.

The Court found that the facts of the case were neither shocking nor serious which can impede the grant of bail. The bail application was allowed.[Aryan Siris Garange v. State of Gujarat, R/Criminal Misc. Application No. 5692 of 2022, decided on 07-04-2022]

Mr Yatin N. Oza, Sr. Adv. with Mr Anurag Rathor, for Applicant(s)  1

Mr Ronak Raval, APP for Respondent(s) 1

Mr Nishith P Thakkar for the original first informant

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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