The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi government on a petition seeking quashing of FIR under Section 376 IPC and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the ground that the parties have settled the dispute and are now living as husband and wife.
Justice Mukta Gupta asked the Delhi government to file a reply before the next date of hearing and listed the matter for February 11, 2022, for further hearing.
Advocate Shivani Sharma, appearing on behalf of Additional Standing Counsel Richa Kapoor, for the State accepted notice. Advocate Tanya Agarwal, who was appearing for the victim, accepted notice on behalf of the victim.
Counsel for the petitioner Kamlesh Kumar Mishra stated that the parties have settled the dispute and being in a relationship, they are continuing the same even on attaining the age of majority. "Both are majors and are now living as husband and wife and thus, in terms of the decision of the Supreme Court, the FIR and the proceedings pursuant there to be quashed," counsel stated.
The present petition sought to quash the FIR lodged on March 29, 2017, registered at police station Ranjit Nagar under the charges dealing with rape and section 6 of POCSO, Act.
According to the petition, the complainant/prosecutrix was a minor aged 16 years when the FIR was lodged and she was deeply in love with the petitioner. The petition further added that for some miscommunication, misinformation and ill advise, she lodged a complaint in an attempt to secure her relationship and marriage.
The petitioner was arrested in the present case on July 2, 2018, and while being in Judicial custody, was granted interim bail for a period of 14 days in order to enable both parties to marry each other.
"They subsequently got married on December 10, 2019 at Arya Samaj Vedic Trust whereafter the petitioner was granted regular bail. While the petitioner and respondent are leading a marital life; the trial in the aforementioned case is acting as a thorn and stopping it from making it a 'Happily ever after' case," the petition said.
The petitioner and the complainant, who are husband and wife betrothed to each other have also signed a mutual agreement for the purpose of the present quashing on August 13, 2021, which is titled a joint Affidavit cum Agreement, the petition said.