Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • While granting bail to a man accused of sexually assaulting a 14 year old minor boy, the Bombay HC observed that kissing on the lips and fondling are not unnatural offences and therefore, will not attract the rigours of section 377 of IPC.
  • Justice Anuja Prabhudesai, in her four page order, observed that the statement of the victim as well as the FIR prima facie indicate that the accused had touched the private parts of the victim and had kissed him on the lips. In her view, this would not prima facie constitute an offence under section 377 IPC. 
  • In this case, the father of the minor boy had found some money missing from their home on 17-4-2021. When he asked his son about it, the boy told him that he had given the money to the accused person to recharge an online game called ‘Ola party’. The boy also told his parents that the accused had sexually assaulted him. Following this, an FIR was registered under section 377 IPC and sections 8/12 of the POCSO Act. 
  • It is important to note that unnatural offences under section 377 IPC are punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and the accused will also be liable to fine. The high quantum of the sentence makes it very difficult for the accused to be released on bail.
  • The Court also asked the prosecutor as to what material is there apart from the statement in the FIR to support the application of section 377 IPC as the medical report does not support it. The Court also observed that the POCSO sections imposed against the accused carry a maximum sentence of 5 years, and thus, bail can be granted to the accused.  
  • The Court observed that the accused had been in custody for almost a year, no charges had yet been framed, and the trial was not likely to commence in the near future. Considering these factors, the accused was released on bail after furnishing a bond in the sum of Rs. 30,000 with one or two sureties. 
  • The accused has been asked to not interfere with the complainant-father and other witnesses, to report to the police station once every two months, and not tamper with the evidence or attempt to contact the complainant, witnesses or any person concerned with the case. He has also been asked to keep the trial Court posted about his address and contact information. 
     
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