A 24-year-old man from Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai who was accused of raping a minor girl has been acquitted by a special court, with the judge calling it a case of consensual relationship.
The order by Special Judge (POCSO) VV Virkar was passed on March 15. It was made available on Saturday.
The man was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in 2014 for allegedly eloping with his neighbour to Tuljapur and raping her promising that he would marry her. On a complaint by the girl’s mother, police later traced the two.
In her order, the judge said it appears to be a case of consensual relationship “which is apparent from the history given by the prosecutrix to the Medical Officer”.
Since it was not proved that the girl was not below 18 years of age, abduction charges cannot be pressed against the man, said the court.
“When it is consensual relationship, even though it is assumed for a while that the prosecutrix at that time of incident was 17 years plus 6 months, which is an age of understanding and discretion and the prosecutrix being on the verge of attaining majority, the act of sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix cannot be termed as rape,” said the court, acquitting the man.
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