Delhi High Court: In a case for grant of bail under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), the Single Judge Bench of Jasmeet Singh, J. denied bail to a 23-year-old married man stating that he was involved in a serious offence of changing the date of birth of the complainant to show that when the physical relationship was established between them, the complainant was not a minor.
In the present case, the father of the minor girl registered an FIR stating that her daughter was missing. Later, a status report was filed wherein it was stated that the missing girl was traced and rescued in Uttar Pradesh and was brought back. The minor girl was found in the company of the applicant (petitioner).
The prosecutrix’s statements were recorded under Section 164 of CrPC. wherein she stated that the applicant was her boyfriend and she stayed with him for about one and a half months. Further, the prosecutrix stated that she established a physical relationship with the applicant with her consent and wanted to stay with him.
Submission on behalf of the Petitioner
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that in view of the statements made under Section 164 of Cr.P.C., the applicant should be granted bail and moreover, the applicant had been in custody since 2019 and the charge sheet had already been filed.
Submission on behalf of the Respondent
Counsel for the complainant stated that the complainant had informed that it was the applicant who took her to the SDM office and got her date of birth changed in Aadhar Card from 2002 to 2000 only for the purpose of showing that on the date of establishing physical relationship, the complainant was not a minor.
Analysis, Law, and Decision
The Court opined that the prosecutrix was merely 16 years old and the applicant was 23 years old and was married and the conduct of the applicant of getting the date of birth changed in the Aadhar Card of the complainant was a serious offence as the applicant wanted to take advantage by getting the date of birth changed on Aadhar Card, so that when the applicant established physical relationship with the complainant, she would not have been a minor. Further, the consent of a minor specially when the applicant was 23 years old and was already married also disentitled the applicant for the grant of bail.
[Javed v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2022 SCC OnLine Del 4182, decided on 23-11-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioner: Advocate Sharan Mehta;
For the Respondent: Additional Public Prosecutor Y.S. Chauhan;
Advocate Gunjan Sinha Jain.