POCSO Act enacted not to punish minors in consensual relations and brand them as criminals, says HC

    The Hawk
    May3/ 2023

    Mumbai: The Bombay High Court, while giving bail to a 23-year-old man charged with raping a juvenile, ruled that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was not intended to penalise adolescents in a consensual relationship and to label them as criminals.

    It is true that the victim in this case was a minor, but her statement prima facie implies that the relationship was voluntary, as observed in the judgement passed on April 26 by a single bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai.

    The POCSO Act "needs to be noted that it has been enacted to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, etc., and contains stringent penal provisions as to safeguard the interest and the well-being of the children," the HC stated.—Inputs from Agencies