The Karnataka high court refused to quash legal proceedings against a person, accused of raping a minor, stating that the consent of a minor will not be considered as consent at all when the accused has committed an offence under Section 376 of IPC.
The accused and the victim, who has now turned hostile following an out-of-court settlement had moved the Karnataka high court seeking to quash the proceedings before a trial court stating that they are married now and have a child.
Justice H P Sandesh said that though the parties may have opted for an out-of-court settlement, the same cannot be accepted since it is a serious offense and will have a serious impact on society.
The court cited the Apex Court order in Gian Singh case and noted that the power of the high court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or a complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of the CrPC is distinct and different from the power given to a criminal court for compounding the offences under section 320 of the CrPC.
“In the present case, the accused has committed the offence of rape against a minor girl which attracts the provisions of IPC and also POCSO Act. The Hon’ble Apex Court has specifically held that in case of a serious offence of rape, the Court cannot exercise power under Section 482 of CrPC, and the same will have an impact on society. The Court has to look into the statute and object in bringing the special enactment of POCSO Act and hence, considering the object and scope of special enactment of POCSO Act, exercising power under Section 482 of CrPC, does not arise,” the court said.
With DHNS inputs