Powered by
Sponsored by

SC quashes Kerala HC order that recalled a withdrawn POCSO case verdict

The case in question relates to penetrative sexual assault on a minor

20-supreme-court Supreme Court of India | Arvind Jain

The Supreme Court quashed a Kerala High court order which recalled a previous judgment that annulled charges of sexual assault under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). The apex court observed that in view of Section 362 CrPC, the court does not have the power to alter the judgment and order once passed, except to correct the clerical or arithmetical error, LiveLaw reported.

The Kerala High Court had, in April, withdrawn five previous orders that had quashed charges of sexual assault under a case registered under POCSO—the withdrawn verdict was one delivered by a bench headed by Justice K. Haripal, who removed child sexual assault charges against a 22-year-old man who was now married to a then-minor survivor. The High Court, while withdrawing the order, said it had not considered a previous Supreme Court order stating that serious cases like rape should not be withdrawn on the basis of agreements between the accused and the survivor. 

The case in question pertained to penetrative sexual assault, first registered when the survivor was 17 years old, a minor. “The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that in such cases courts should always take a pragmatic view. When the parties themselves settle the dispute and approach the high court for quashing the proceedings, the High Court cannot refuse to invoke its inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 of CrPC,” the Haripal bench had then said, observing that the well-being of the couple also necessitated the move, and that public interest would not be hampered by a quash, reported LiveLaw. The accused had petitioned the high court, raising the point of his marriage, and saying that the couple were living as husband and wife; the survivor and her father also filed affidavits agreeing to quash the petition. 

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines