Offences under POCSO act and section 377 against children are non-compoundable: Delhi HC

On Friday, the Delhi High Court held that the court is powerless to allow FIR to be quashed merely on the ground that the parties have entered a settlement Under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act, the FIR applies to heinous offenses against small children. The petition filed under sec. 482 Cr.P.C. was rejected by Justice Subramonium Prasad. In Section 4 of the POCSO Act to pray for the quashing of a FIR dated 22.11.2019 reported in Patel Nagar police station under Section 377 of the IPC. "Unnatural offences" are provided for in Sec. 377 of the IPC, while Sec. 4 of the POCSO Act allows for punishments for penetrative sexual harassment. Facts of the case, The complainant of seven-year-old boy had registered the FIR against the accused who was also the resident in the same building. The complainant father of a seven-year-old son said, after he left for work, the accused sodomized him. Later, the complainant discovered his son's undergarments were soaked in blood. The police's final report stated that enough evidence was on record to proceed against the accused person. The accused subsequently filed a petition in the HC to quash the FIR on the ground that the parties decided to amicably put an end to the disputes and differences due to the "intervention of elders of the society and friends. After reviewing the evidence of the present case, the Court found that both Section 377 of the IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act were non-compoundable offences except that the court is powerless to quash criminal prosecutions for non-compoundable offenses when exercising its authority under sec. 482 CrPC. "At the outset, the Court relied on the judgment of Shiji & Ors v. Radhika & Anr reported as (2011) 10 SCC 705, in which the Court held that "The High Court must have due regard to the existence and seriousness of the crime in the exercise of the authority under Section 482 and in dealing with a plea that the conflict has been settled. Heinous and grave crimes such as murder, dacoity and rape includes mental barbarity of the victim, that cannot be settle down by the victim or the family of victim. Such offences have serious impact upon the society and should not be dissolved in private. Court held, Despite this, the Court held that the appellant, a seven-year-old child, was the victim of serious offences committed by the accused in the present case. The POCSO Act was passed only because the current legislation would not provide proper remedy to sexual offences against children and the intent of the Act was to shield children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and to preserve the interest and well-being of children. Allowing those offenses to be abused and quashing FIRs would not secure the interest of justice. In addition, the Court observed that an offence under Section 377 of the IPC was committed against a child of seven years of age or an offence under Section 4 of POCSO Act reveals the offender's mental depravity which should not be said to be private in nature. We should not lose sight of the fact that the accused is being punished for a crime that shocks a society's moral structure, and this is not a question that can be resolved as a compoundable minor offense. Deterrent is a necessity for those who perform comparable offences, and they are obligated to do so. It's hard to get a warning that something and anything can be manipulated." Bench held." The Court then ruled that it was not possible to quash the FIR simply because the victim's father wanted to enter a settlement with the petitioner/accused. This court is comparison to natural from imposing any costs on the parties for filing a case under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR in regard of a heinous crime against a young boy on the ground that the parties have entered compromise as it will cause serious prejudice to the rights of the petitioner. Although rejecting the appeal, the bench noted.

On Friday, the Delhi High Court held that the court is powerless to allow FIR to be quashed merely on the ground that the parties have entered a settlement Under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act, the FIR applies to heinous offenses against small children.

The petition filed under sec. 482 Cr.P.C. was rejected by Justice Subramonium Prasad. In Section 4 of the POCSO Act to pray for the quashing of a FIR dated 22.11.2019 reported in Patel Nagar police station under Section 377 of the IPC. 

“Unnatural offences” are provided for in Sec. 377 of the IPC, while Sec. 4 of the POCSO Act allows for punishments for penetrative sexual harassment.

Facts of the case,

The complainant of seven-year-old boy had registered the FIR against the accused who was also the resident in the same building. The complainant father of a seven-year-old son said, after he left for work, the accused sodomized him. Later, the complainant discovered his son’s undergarments were soaked in blood. 

The police’s final report stated that enough evidence was on record to proceed against the accused person. The accused subsequently filed a petition in the HC to quash the FIR on the ground that the parties decided to amicably put an end to the disputes and differences due to the “intervention of elders of the society and friends.

After reviewing the evidence of the present case, the Court found that both Section 377 of the IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act were non-compoundable offences except that the court is powerless to quash criminal prosecutions for non-compoundable offenses when exercising its authority under sec. 482 CrPC.

“At the outset, the Court relied on the judgment of Shiji & Ors v. Radhika & Anr reported as (2011) 10 SCC 705, in which the Court held that “The High Court must have due regard to the existence and seriousness of the crime in the exercise of the authority under Section 482 and in dealing with a plea that the conflict has been settled. Heinous and grave crimes such as murder, dacoity and rape includes mental barbarity of the victim, that cannot be settle down by the victim or the family of victim. Such offences have serious impact upon the society and should not be dissolved in private.

Court held,

Despite this, the Court held that the appellant, a seven-year-old child, was the victim of serious offences committed by the accused in the present case. The POCSO Act was passed only because the current legislation would not provide proper remedy to sexual offences against children and the intent of the Act was to shield children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and to preserve the interest and well-being of children. Allowing those offenses to be abused and quashing FIRs would not secure the interest of justice.

In addition, the Court observed that an offence under Section 377 of the IPC was committed against a child of seven years of age or an offence under Section 4 of POCSO Act reveals the offender’s mental depravity which should not be said to be private in nature. 

We should not lose sight of the fact that the accused is being punished for a crime that shocks a society’s moral structure, and this is not a question that can be resolved as a compoundable minor offense. Deterrent is a necessity for those who perform comparable offences, and they are obligated to do so. It’s hard to get a warning that something and anything can be manipulated.” Bench held.”

The Court then ruled that it was not possible to quash the FIR simply because the victim’s father wanted to enter a settlement with the petitioner/accused. 

This court is comparison to natural from imposing any costs on the parties for filing a case under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR in regard of a heinous crime against a young boy on the ground that the parties have entered compromise as it will cause serious prejudice to the rights of the petitioner. Although rejecting the appeal, the bench noted.

Purnima Ojha
‘Law is not law if it violates the principles of eternal Justice’ very beautifully penned down by Lydia Maria Child and I strongly believe, if the law is not made for the goods of people then at least it should not violate the essence of the principle of law that is “JUSTICE”. Law is made to keep each section of society on an equal platform and being a member of the law fraternity, I will try to contribute to the welfare of society. I am Purnima and I graduated from zoology (Hons) and am currently pursuing a law degree from Lloyd law college, Greater Noida. My desire is to bring a fair and unjust environment to our society through my hard work and persistent efforts.