‘In View Of Marriage Of Accused With Victim, Trial To Be Futile’: Gujarat HC Quashes FIR For Rape Of Minor
The Gujarat High Court quashed an F.I.R. pertaining to rape of a minor by an on duty police officer, taking into account “full and final settlement” between the complainant and the accused by the latter entering into marriage with the victim. The F.I.R. was lodged for the offences punishable under Sections 363 [kidnapping], 366 [kidnapping woman for compelling marriage] and 376(2)(n)[repeated rape on same woman] of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 4, 5(1) [sexual assault on child by on duty police officer] and 6(1) of POCSO Act, 2012. Justice Ashokkumar C. Joshi noted that the Supreme Court in Narender Singh & Others vs. State of Punjab and Another (2014) 6 SCC 466 has observed that heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute. The Court also referred to the landmark decisions of Supreme Court in case of Parbatbhai Aahir vs. State of Gujarat 2017 SCC online SC 1189 and in case of State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Laxmi Narayan and Others (2019) 5 SCC 688, which reiterate the same principle.