Delhi High court rejects bail plea in POCSO case, where accused allegedly changed DoB of minor

  • Ratna Singh
  • 12:16 PM, 04 Oct 2021

The Delhi High Court has rejected the bail application of a man accused of raping a minor, forcibly marrying her and tampering with her date of birth in her Aadhaar Card.

The single judge bench of Justice Anu Malhotra held in the matter,

“The prosecutrix being a minor at the time of the alleged offence coupled with her submissions of threats meted out to her by the applicant to compel her to indulge into sexual relations with him, it is held that there is no ground whatsoever for grant of bail to the applicant.”

The bench also said that the facts of the verdicts relied upon by the accused were not pari materia with the facts of the present case, hence found no application to the same.

The applicant, one Rohit faced charges under Sections 366, 376, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and submitted that he has been falsely implicated in the case and that the relations between the applicant and the prosecutrix were infact, wholly consensual.

Howevet, the status report in the case stated that the Rohit had taken the victim to Connaught Place and taken photographs with her, which he later used to threaten her that he would make the photographs viral and also kill her father and brother if she did not marry him.

Earlier, the Metropolitan Magistrate (Reliever), Karkardooma Courts, New Delhi had found the victim competent to depose and therefore, on oath she had disclosed her age to be 17 years and corroborated the version put forth through the FIR.

She further stated that on Apr 8, the applicant took her forcibly to the Arya Samaj Mandir, Kashmere Gate, Delhi and forcibly married her, threatening her to pretend that the same was consensual.

The prosecutrix further stated that the applicant had made a video at the time, threatened her and took her to his friend’s house where he committed rape upon her. 

Though, the Medico-Legal Case report (medical examination) of the prosecutrix stated that she did not want any internal examination, the medical opinion thereon was to the effect, and “sexual assault cannot be ruled out.”

Denying allegations, Rohit contended that the prosecutrix had put forth her date of birth as being Oct 10, 2002, which is why he was not aware of her being a minor. He further stated that, "Even if her date of birth was accepted as being Oct 10, 2004, she was not at an age where she could be termed to be naive and gullible and that all relations between the applicant and the prosecutrix were consensual."

The applicant further submitted that, “no offence whatsoever in terms of the POCSO enactment is made out against the him, and that the prosecutrix was a major as per her documents with her date of birth being Oct 10, 2002.”

He also relied on photographs of the marriage between the prosecutrix and him, and said that they "reflected the happy state of mind of the prosecutrix at the time of ceremony" and that since the documents do not lie, it clearly showed that none of the alleged commission of the offences under Sections 366/376/506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 6 of the POCSO Act, 2012 were made out in any manner.

It was reiterated on behalf of the state that the date of birth of the prosecutrix was Oct 10, 2004 and that she was below the age of giving legal consent.

The prosecution also impugned that the photographs allegedly showing the prosecutrix in a happy state of mind, "do not aid to assist the applicant in any manner in his prayer seeking grant of bail, in as much as, the available records during the investigations conducted, establish the date of birth of the prosecutrix to be Oct 10, 2002 and not Oct 10, 2004" and thus, the prosecutrix clearly being a minor on the date of the alleged commission of the offence, the same itself negated the grant of bail to the applicant.

Case Title – Rohit Kumar Jha v The State