Special Court, POCSO, Fort, Bombay: In a case where the charge-sheet is filed against the accused for the offenses punishable under Sections 354-D(1)(i) of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and under Section 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO’), Priya P. Bankar, J., convicted the accused vide Section 235(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, for the offense under Section 11 punishable under Section 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for 06 months (six months) and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten thousand only), in default to pay fine, to suffer Simple Imprisonment for the period of 01 month.
The facts in the present case are such that a minor victim girl aged 15 years was continuously being followed by the accused offering her pen and book. His advances were regularly refused by the victim girl but in spite of that the accused kept following her and offering her articles to initiate contact. She went and complained to her mother who thereby went and registered the said FIR.
The Court noted that based on the evidence put on record before the Court, the accused has followed the victim girl repeatedly and he has tried to contact her by offering a pen and book. The victim girl was a minor at the relevant time, and therefore, the provisions of POCSO Act are applicable in the present matter. There is a presumption under section 30 of the POCSO Act about the culpable mental state on the part of the accused.
The Court further noted that said act of the accused shows that he has sexual intent and therefore he has followed the 15 years old girl and was offering pen and book only to interact with her and to develop the relationship by offering the articles. It was the process of grooming the child for his sexual intent.
Thus, the Court convicted the accused for the offense punishable under Section 354-D(1)(i) of IPC, however, no separate sentence is passed, as the accused is convicted and sentenced under Section 11 punishable under Section 12 of the POCSO Act, which is a similar offense under the Special Act.
[State of Maharashtra v. Ismail Ibrahim Kadar, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Bom) 19, decided on 09-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Ms. Sulbha S. Joshi, Learned SPP for the State;
Mr. Kirtane, Learned Advocate for the the Accused.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.