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Bombay HC grants bail to rape accused, says minor girlfriend knew consequence

Bombay HC grants bail to rape accused, says minor girlfriend knew consequence

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court granted bail to 22-year-old rape accused noting that the victim, a 15-year-old, was in a relationship with the man. The court noted that the girl was capable of understanding the consequences of her actions even though she was a minor.

The Justice said the girl voluntarily accompanied the accused to his relative's house where the alleged offence took place. A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre said: "Though she is a minor and her consent becomes immaterial, in a case like this, where she voluntarily joined the applicant and has admitted that she was in love with the applicant, whether she consented to the sexual intercourse or not is a matter of evidence."

The case was registered under relevant provisions under the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA). The FIR was registered on April 29, 2021, by the girl. As per her complaint, the accused raped her on April 6, 2021. She revealed the incident to her sister on April 29 after her family caught her chatting with him on WhatsApp.

The court further said it will be determined later at the time of the trial whether the girl resisted the sexual act and at what point the accused forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her against her wishes. The judge noted that the girl kept quiet about the incident until the family found out about the incident.

The high court also observed that the accused is also a young boy and the possibility of him being smitten by infatuation cannot be ruled out. "At present, he need not be further incarcerated as he has been arrested in April 2021 and the trial may consume considerable time." The judge has directed the accused to not establish any contact with the girl and not to enter the same area as her residence in suburban Mumbai.

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TAGS:POCSOBombay High court
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