POCSO Act: Delhi High Court suspends sentence of man after noting girl lied about her age to accused, eloped with him voluntarily

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The Delhi High Court on Friday suspended the sentence of a man convicted for raping a minor after noting that the prosecutrix had eloped with the accused out of her own free will and misrepresented her age to him.

Justice Jasmeet Singh granted bail to one Babloo observing that in the present case, the facts are peculiar since the prosecutrix was 17 years and four months old when she eloped with Babloo and the two then had a child together.

The prosecutrix in her Section 164 CrPC statement as well as her evidence has categorically stated that she ran away with the appellant out of her own free will and that she is in love with him and prayed that the appellant be released on bail, the Court noted.

“These are factums which persuade me to suspend the sentence of the appellant even though the appellant has not undergone 50% of the awarded sentence,” Justice Singh said.

The Court was dealing with an appeal filed by Babloo against the order of the trial court that convicted him for offences under Section 376(2)(n) (committing rape repeatedly on the same woman) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The trial court had sentenced him to 12 years rigorous imprisonment and fine of ₹10,000.

After considering the case, Justice Singh released the appellant on bail noting that upholding or setting aside the lower court’s order would require detailed hearing which would take time.

“The appellant will not interfere in the life of the prosecutrix and the minor child until and unless the prosecutrix so desires and permits… The appellant shall try and contribute some amount towards the upbringing of the minor child.”

Advocates Nitin Saluja along with advocates Shivani Luthra Lohiya, Poonam Dangi and Saahil Mongia appeared for the appellant.

Additional Public Prosecutor Ajay Vikram Singh appeared for the State.

Advocate Aishwarya Rao appeared for the prosecutrix.

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