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CHENNAI: Punishing an adolescent boy who enters right into a relationship with a minor woman by treating him as an offender was by no means the target of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, noticed the Madras excessive court docket. It additionally really useful to the legislature to swiftly convey needed amendments to the act.
The court docket made the observations whereas quashing prison proceedings pending earlier than a Justice of the Peace court docket towards an auto driver who was booked underneath the Pocso Act for marrying a minor woman. The case was filed in 2018, when each the boy and the woman had been just a few days in need of 18.
The woman’s household moved the HC to quash the prison proceedings, saying the household needed to get the woman married and that the prison proceedings induced them psychological agony.
On her half, the woman additionally deposed earlier than the court docket via video-conferencing and mentioned she was in a relationship with the boy.
The prosecution argued that the court docket has to contemplate whether or not an offence of this nature might be quashed on the bottom of compromise between the events.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh, after perusing the submissions, famous that there may be no second thought as to the seriousness of offences underneath the Pocso Act and the article it seeks to attain. “However, it is imperative for the court to draw a thin line that demarcates the nature of acts that should not be made to fall within the scope of the act, for such is the severity of sentences provided under the act, if acted upon hastily, it could lead to irreparable damage to the livelihood of youth whose actions would have only been innocuous.” The decide mentioned the regulation meant to guard and render justice to victims of kid abuse can grow to be a software within the fingers of sure sections of the society.
The court docket additionally identified that it’s essential to pay attention to the science and psychology of adolescence and younger maturity and cited varied research and to the definition by the UN, which categorises adolescence as 10-19 years of age and younger individuals as 10-24 years within the Southeast Asia area.
“This court is not turning a blind eye to cases where victims or survivors may, under the effect of trauma, convince themselves that the element of consent was present nor is the court justifying the genuineness of the accused in every case where the accused and minor girl were in a relationship. That will depend on facts and circumstances of each and every case,” Justice Anand Venkatesh mentioned.

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