POCSO survivor, accused marrying other persons and living happily not ground to quash FIR: Calcutta High Court

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ruled that a First Information Report (FIR) lodged under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) cannot be quashed merely because both the survivor and the accused married different persons and are now living happily [Bhuban Basak vs State of West Bengal].

Single-judge Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) said that the accused and survivor marrying other persons would not lessen the offence under POCSO Act.

“The fact of them (applicant accused and victim) being married to other persons does not lessen the offence alleged, considering the prima facie materials on record,” the judge noted.

It, therefore, rejected a plea by one Bhuban Basak seeking to quash the proceedings initiated against him for the offence of rape under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant provisions of the POCSO Act.

The prosecution case was that the accused, who was 22-years-old in January 2016, had a brief ‘love affair’ with the victim, who was only 14 years at that time. He took her to various places.

On the day of incident, when the victim was alone in her house, the accused forcibly entered and raped her. When she raised a hue and cry, he applied vermilion (sindoor) on her head and made her believe that they are now married. He then fled from the spot.

When her parents returned home, she narrated the incident to them and subsequently an FIR was lodged against him.

The accused moved the Court contended that since both the survivor and he are happily married to other persons, the case should be quashed.

The Court noted that the medical reports and the statements of the survivor were against the accused.

The material on record, the judge said, is sufficient for the case to proceed towards trial.

“Thus from the materials on record including the medical report, age of the victim and the statements on record, there appears to be a prima facie case against the petitioner of committing a cognizable offence and quashing the proceedings at the stage would amount to an abuse of the process of law or the court,” the Court held.

Therefore, it dismissed the petition.

Advocate Musharaf Alam Sk. appeared for the accused.

Advocate Sujata Das represented the State.

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