Non-Reporting Of ‘POCSO Case’: “Sometimes Such Matters Aren’t Reported
To Save Girl’s Reputation”: Rajasthan HC
A bench led by Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani heard an appeal by the petitioners, which was about a death case of a minor girl. The brief facts of the case were that a hostel girl went missing on a day, and the appellants being Wife and Husband, conducted a general search in the hostel. It is found that the girl was in the room of PTI Vijendra Singh bolted. The appellants did not report to the authorities and knew that the girl was below 18 years old. The appellants have recorded the statements in a paper about what happened in that room. Neither the accused nor the victim mentioned indulging in any sexual activities. So the appellants have not reported the incident to the police. Later, the victim committed suicide by jumping into the water body nearby.
The trial court awarded the appellants punishment for two offenses, namely section 305 of IPC(Abetment of the suicide of a child or an insane person) and Section 21 of the POCSO Act(Punishment for failure to report or record a case). The appellants, dissatisfied by the trial court’s judgement, appealed to the High Court of Rajasthan. The High Court heard the case and considered some severe points. The Court mentioned that there was no action of abetment proved in the Court of law, and it is merely an allegation. It needs to be confirmed to convict for the offences. The letters never mentioned any act of coercion or any other flaw, and the Court trusts that there was no kind of coercion in the victim’s statement. Second, being the non-reporting of the case to the police, we should keep in mind the girl’s reputation, and necessary steps should be taken to protect the reputation. The Court mentioned that the act of the appellants could be said to protect the girl’s reputation from any unwanted danger. The honourable High Court cleared the sentences awarded by the trial court filed under section 389 CrPC. The Court suspended the punishments provided that the appellants would pay a sum of 1 lakh INR each with two sureties of 50K INR until the final disposal of the appeal.