SC to examine closure of sexual offence case against school-going minor by HC

  • | Friday | 30th September, 2022

New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the closure of a case by the Rajasthan High Court involving alleged molestation of a 15-year-old girl at school after a compromise was reached between the rival parties.A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice J B Pardiwala appointed senior advocate R Basant as amicus curiae to assist in dealing with the case which gave rise to many legal issues such as validity and scope of compromise in “non-compoundable” cases of serious offence. The bench said it will have to deal with the legal issue of locus whether in a criminal case a court can allow public interest litigations to be used to challenge the findings of courts below by a third party. The top court issued notices to the Rajasthan government and its DGP on the PIL filed by one Ramjilal Bairwa, a native of Gangapur City in Rajsathan, challenging the closure of a serious non-compoundable criminal case by the high court in which the accused never got arrested. It also ordered that the accused and the father of the victim minor girl be made parties, and listed the plea for hearing on October 31. The plea said the incident occurred on January 6 this year during which the modesty of a girl student, aged about 15 years, was allegedly outraged leading to the registration of an FIR by her father. “The concerned accused, named in the FIR, was never arrested,” the plea said, adding a compromise was allegedly executed between the family members of the girl and the accused. “Taking note of the compromise, which was presented before the high court, the high court allowed the petition filed by the accused and quashed the proceedings,” the court said, noting the contention of the PIL petitioner. It was alleged that though the high court observed that there was opposition on the part of the public prosecutor, it closed the case relying upon a judgement of the apex court which said that even the non-compoundable offence cases can be closed based on a compromise between the parties. “This petition submits that an offence which was otherwise punishable under section 354 (outraging the modesty) of the IPC and provisions of the POCSO Act and which by very nature is against the society and non-compoundable was allowed to be quashed as the result of the of the order of the high court,” it said. It further submitted that Rajasthan (state government),” the guardian of the interests of the persons living in the state”, decided not to appeal against the decision of the high court. Outlining the legal issues arising from the case, the bench sought responses of the state government and the accused and fixed it for hearing on October 31. PTI SJK SJK SK SK

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