[POCSO] The Bombay High Court has dismissed a rape FIR after the survivor agreed to close the case so that she may concentrate on her education.

[Ganesh Shankar Pilane vs The State of Maharashtra & Ors.] The Bombay High Court recently quashed a first information report (FIR) against; a man charged with rape and sexual assault against a minor after; she gave her consent to quash the criminal proceedings, claiming she wanted to focus on her academic career.

A bench of Justices PB Varale and SM Modak looked at the survivor’s affidavit of no objection, which stated that the criminal proceedings would be a hindrance to her academic career.

The survivor and the accused met and became acquainted as students at a private institution. The survivor  pursuing her education in class 12 while the accused-petitioner  enrolled as an external student in the first year of a bachelor’s degree programme.

Their friendship resulted in a relationship and it  alleged that; in November 2019 the accused took the survivor to an unknown place and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her.

She  told her grandfather about the incident due to mental anguish, and a FIR filed against the accused for rape under Section 376 IPC and penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault under Sections 4 and 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).

The accused then went to the High Court, requesting that; the FIR against him be dismissed with the victim’s consent.

The victim must register a no-objection on affidavit as part of the quashing by consent procedure.

As a result, the victim filed an affidavit, which the Bench reviewed.

According to the declaration; the pendency of the criminal procedures and trial would be an impediment to her pursuing; the academic course and subsequent studies. It appears that responder No. 2 is taking the approach of letting go of her baggage from the past and moving forward in life, focusing on the positive aspects for a brighter future,”

The prosecution vigorously resisted the plea, arguing that; even if the parties had reached an agreement, the nature of the offences  significant enough that; the case should not be dismissed.

Despite the serious charges levelled against the applicant, the Court said in its judgement that;  it could not ignore the fact that the victim had expressed her desire to continue her academic career and focus on her studies.

As a result, the Court granted the plea, and the FIR dismissed.

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