The Court said it could not be blind towards the happy marriage between the woman and her husband. The prosecutrix was 14 when she was first impregnated by the man, her uncle. They are now married and have two children. In Tamil Nadu, certain communities have a tradition of marrying the maternal uncle.
The Supreme Court has quashed the conviction of a man found guilty in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case arguing that he was “happily married” to the woman with two kids. The man happens to be the maternal uncle of the woman.
According to reports, the bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai opined that they could not ignore the ground reality that the family life of the man and woman was filled with laughter and happiness. The SC also rejected the objection raised by the State which held that they were married so that the man could avert any legal punishment against his offenses.
SC Rules Out POCSO Case
Previously, The Madras High Court upheld the conviction and sentence of the man who underwent rigorous imprisonment for 10 years Sections 5(j)(ii)read with Section 6, 5(I) read with Section 6 and 5(n) read with Section 6 of Protection of Child from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
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The SC, however, said, “In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we are of the considered view that the conviction and sentence of the appellant who is maternal uncle of the prosecutrix deserves to be set aside in view of the subsequent events that have been brought to the notice of this Court. This Court cannot shut its eyes to the ground reality and disturb the happy family life of the appellant and the prosecutrix. We have been informed about the custom in Tamil Nadu of the marriage of a girl with the maternal uncle.”
The woman alleged that he had physical relations and impregnated her before promising marriage. Since she is looking after the children, the court concluded the possibility of her leading a happy marriage.
According to the State, the Supreme Court should not shut its eyes to the reality that the woman was only 14 years old when her uncle had allegedly impregnated her, resulting in her giving birth the following years. The marriage between them should be hence considered illegal.
However, the SC clarified that if the accused does not take proper care of the woman, only then can she or the State on her behalf can proceed with changes in the court order.