"Every girl being a citizen of India has a right to live her life peacefully and without any threat to her dignity and life," observed the Madhya Pradesh High Court as it refused to quash a POCSO Case based on a compromise between the 17-year-old victim and a man, accused of stalking and harassing her for two years.
The Bench of Justice G. S. Ahluwalia noted that it was a case where the applicant-accused was continuously stalking and harassing the victim and caught hold of her hand in a public place when she had come to her house for celebrating Deewali and therefore, refused to quash the case.
The case in brief
The applicant has been accused of stalking and harassing the victim, while she was in Class-11th. Even when the parents of the victim tried to persuade the applicant to improve his behavior but he did not do that.
Thereafter, the victim got admission into an Engineering College and when she came back to her house in 2019, to celebrate Deewali, then not only her hand was caught hold by the applicant in a public place but he also misbehaved with her.
Allegedly, while fleeing away after the incident, he had extended a threat to her life and had also threatened that he would throw acid on her. Thereafter, she lodged a report stating that for the last two years the applicant had been teasing her, stalking her, and harassing her.
The police, after concluding the investigation filed the charge sheet and the applicant is facing trial for offence under Sections 354, 354(D), 506 of IPC and under Sections 7/8, 11/12 of the POCSO Act.
Now, the applicant moved the Court seeking quashing of the case based on compromise.
Hearing the matter, the Court, at the outset, noted that the victim was a minor aged about 17 years on the date of the incident and the allegations are that the applicant was stalking and harassing her for the last two years.
The Court also noted in her statement, the victim had merely stated that now she has compromised the matter.
"Under these circumstances and considering the nature of allegation according to which the applicant was continuously harassing and stalking her, this Court is of the considered opinion that it cannot be said that the offence committed by the applicant is not against the society. Every girl being a citizen of India has a right to live her life peacefully and without any threat to her dignity and life," the Court further added as it opined that it is not a fit case to quash the proceedings on the basis of compromise and dismissed the plea.
Case title - Hani Sharma vs. State of M.P. & Anr.
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 5