Decided on: 16th November, 2021
Bench: Justice Subramonium Prasad
Case details: The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a POCSO accused tuition instructor, saying that it will take years for the youngster to recover from his or her trauma.
In a bail hearing, Justice Subramonium Prasad agreed with the tuition teacher, who was charged with sexually harassing and abusing his 16-year-old student.
The prosecutrix is barely sixteen years old. The Supreme Court has stated that the well-being of a kid whose mental mind is weak is the most important concern. It is generally recognised that the trauma experienced by a 16-year-old female kid is long lasting, and that it takes years for a child to recover from it. The trauma impedes the child’s development and leads to a variety of psychiatric issues, according to the decree.
When the youngster was going to depart home after class, the guy allegedly sexually attacked her. After the incident, the survivor felt “very uncomfortable and disturbed.”
A first information report (FIR) was filed against the petitioner under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 354 (attack or criminal force against a woman with the purpose to shock her modesty) and 354A (sexual harassment), as well as the POCSO Act’s Section 8 (sexual assault).
The man was detained on August 30, 2021, as a result of the report, and the girl received counselling. On October 4, 2021, a sessions court rejected the man’s bail request.
Senior Counsel for the petitioner contended in front of the High Court that the claims were insufficient to create a sexual assault offence. Even if there was enough evidence to prosecute the petitioner for an offence under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, the maximum penalty was just 5 years, according to the lawyer.
He further claimed that the petitioner had been detained since August 30, 2021, and that a chargesheet had been filed, suggesting that his client had no possibility of tampering with the evidence. He further alleged that the prosecutrix went to a rival coaching centre following the event. He said that if the prosecutrix had been psychologically traumatised, she would not have gone to the rival coaching centre and instead would have returned home.
The public prosecutor disputed the petitioner’s argument, claiming that the survivor had been subjected to serious sexual assault, for which a minimum sentence of 5 years was mandated under Section 10 of the POCSO Act. The POCSO Act was intended to protect minors from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography, according to the High Court. “This Act was enacted because child victims were not receiving proper protection under the IPC’s provisions, which were insufficient to defend the interests of children.”
According to it, the legislation was enacted to protect a child’s best interests and well-being, as well as to guarantee the child’s healthy physical, emotional, intellectual, and sociological development.
The Court rejected the claim that the girl went to a rival coaching centre after the incident “The fact that the petitioner went to a rival tutor’s office right after the offence cannot be used as a relevant criterion in this case, and she cannot be said to have been asked to file the current complaint. It is possible that the prosecutrix was so distressed by the petitioner’s actions that she sought admittance to the rival tutor.”
“It was therefore decided,” it stated “The fundamental aim and intent of the POCSO Act will be defeated if bail is granted to the petitioner at this stage, i.e. before the charges are formed. As a result, this Court is hesitant to issue bail to the petitioner at this time.”
The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur and Advocates Vijay S Bishnoi and Harsh Gautam. Sanjeev Sabharwal, Additional Public Prosecutor, represented the State.
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