The Bombay High Court recently quashed an FIR filed against a 20-year-old boy from Pune, accused of raping a minor girl. The victim told the court that she has no objection if the FIR against the accused is quashed as she wanted to focus on her studies and the criminal proceedings would be a hurdle and she would want to “leave behind the baggage of the past and concentrate on the positive side for a better future”.
A bench of Justices PB Varale and SM Modak examined an affidavit of no-objection filed by the survivor which stated that the criminal proceedings would end up being a hurdle to her academic career.
“In her desire to prosecute the academic course and further studies, the pendency of the criminal proceedings and trial would be a hurdle. It seems that the respondent No. 2 is adopting an approach of leaving behind her baggage of past and proceeding further in the life concentrating on the positive side for better future.”
The survivor and the accused met in the year 2019, the accused was then a Class XII student and the minor lived in the same locality. Both of them became good friends and were in a relationship, however, the accused took the survivor to an unknown location and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her.
The accused threatened her not to disclose anything about the incident, the girl did not disclose the incident to anyone due to the fear and apprehension of defamation in the society. However, some time later, the survivor disclosed the incident to her grandfather, after that an FIR was lodged by the police against the accused.
He was arrested under Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and under Sections 4 and 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act(POCSO Act), 2012.
The accused approached the Bombay High Court to quash the FIR against him with the consent of the victim. To quash the FIR, it is mandatory for the victim to file no-objection on affidavit. The victim later filed an affidavit, which was examined by the bench.
Chief Public Prosecutor, Aruna S Pai, appearing for the State, said that even if the parties had reached an agreement and were seeking quashing of FIR by consent, given the offences against the minor are serious and severe, the petition should be dismissed as the victim had reiterated her free will to prosecute her academic career and concentrate on her studies.
The court, therefore, allowed the plea and the FIR against the accused was quashed by the honourable High court.