Bombay HC grants bail to rape accused, says girl was capable of understanding consequences of relationship
The Bombay High Court, while granting bail to a 22-year-old youth arrested for raping a 15-year-old girl last year, said the two were in a relationship and the victim, being a minor, was capable of understanding the consequences of her actions. A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre, in its November 15 order, also noted that the victim had voluntarily accompanied the accused to her aunt's house where the alleged offense took place. "It appears that the victim, being a minor, was capable of understanding the consequences of her actions and she herself accompanied the petitioner (accused) to his aunt's place," the bench said.
Even though she is a minor and her consent becomes immaterial, notwithstanding that in such a case where she has voluntarily accompanied the youth and has confessed that she was in love with him, whether she consented to the physical relationship or not, It is a matter of evidence." The bench said whether the victim girl resisted the sexual act and at what point the accused had forced sexual intercourse with her against her will, would be determined at the time of trial. The high court said, “The petitioner is also young and the possibility of her falling in love cannot be ruled out.
At present, there is no need to keep him in further confinement as he was arrested in April 2021 and the trial may take a long time. Also directed me not to enter the area of his residence in Mumbai. A case was registered by the victim against the accused on April 29, 2021, under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO).
As per the complaint, the accused raped the girl on April 6, 2021, when she had gone with him to her aunt's house in a suburb of Mumbai. The victim girl said she told her sister about the incident on April 29 after her family caught her chatting with the boy on WhatsApp. The High Court also took note of the delay in lodging the complaint and said, “The victim remained silent until her WhatsApp chats with the accused were objected to by her family members. She remained silent since April 6 and disclosed the incident only after her family raised objections.