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News : High Court states that POCSO Act is not meant to punish minors in consensual relationships and label them as offenders.

  • The Bombay High Court has granted bail to a 23-year-old man who was charged with raping a minor after stating that the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was not enacted to punish minors who are in a consensual relationship.
  • The HC noted that the victim in the case was a minor, but her statement suggests that the relationship was consensual.
  • The POCSO Act is meant to protect children from sexual assault, harassment, and other related offenses, and not to punish minors who are in romantic or consensual relationships.
  • The court made this observation while hearing a plea filed by Imran Shaikh, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a minor girl based on a complaint lodged by the girl’s mother.
  • The high court granted bail to Shaikh, who had been in custody since February 2021, stating that the trial was unlikely to commence soon.
  • The HC added that keeping Shaikh in custody for an extended period would expose him to hardened criminals, which would not be in his best interest.

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