Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: In an application for bail, a single-judge bench comprising of Vishal Dhagat, J., ordered the release of the applicant on bail under specified conditions and directed the Government Advocate to inform the State Government about Section 43 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), for necessary action.

In the instant matter, the applicant filed a second bail application under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) on behalf of the accused, who has been in custody since 04-10-2022, in connection with offenses under Sections 363, 506, 376(2)(N) and 366 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Sections 5(L) and 6 of the POCSO Act.

The applicant, while seeking the accused’s release on bail argued that the prosecutrix is above 17 years of age, was a consenting party, and has been examined in Court. It was contended that the applicant, a 24-year-old young man, was deemed unlikely to influence the case witnesses at this stage. The State, along with the Objector, opposed the bail application.

After hearing arguments from both parties, the Court allowed the bail application. The Court considered the fact that material witnesses had been examined and noted that the applicant had been in custody for over a year since 04-10-2022.

The applicant drew attention to Section 43 of the POCSO Act, 2012, emphasizing the need for the Central and State Governments to publicize the Act and take stringent measures against those found involved in offences under it. The court directed the Government Advocate for the State to bring Section 43 to the notice of the State Government for appropriate action.

The Court directed that the applicant be released on bail upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand only) and providing one solvent surety in the same amount to the satisfaction of the trial court. Additionally, the applicant was ordered to abide by the conditions enumerated in Section 437(3) of CrPC.

[Pankaj v. State of M.P., 2023 SCC OnLine MP 5342, order dated 18-12-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shri Amitabh Gupta, Counsel for the Applicant

Shri Raman Choubey, Counsel for the Objector

Shri D.K. Paroha, Government Advocate, Counsel for the Respondent/State

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