Courts must tackle POCSO cases diligently

Karnataka High Court: The Bench of  Justice A.V. Chandrashekara has allowed  the petition filed by the state under section 439(2) Cr.P.C. by canceling the bail given to the accused in special case of POCSO by the Additional Sessions and Special Judge at chikkamagalur. The petition deals with the reasons to cancel the bail at this stage and the factors which were ignored such as gravity of the accusation, nature of allegation, severity of punishment etc while considering the bail application relating to such heinous offenses.

In the present case, it is contended that the learned Judge has committed a serious error in granting bail to the accused, though the same judge had rejected his bail application on an earlier occasion during the pendency of investigation. After investigation, a charge sheet was filed against the accused for the offenses punishable under Section 363, 366, 366A, 376, 114 read with Section 34 of I.P.C. and 4, 6 and 17 of the Prevention Of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) and then also the learned Judge granted bail to the accused, of kidnapping and rape, of a 17 year old girl on the basis that the accused is the sole bread earner of the family and his presence can be secured easily as he has deep roots in the society.

Justice A.V. Chandrashekara while canceling the bail said that the learned judge has not considered the statement of the victim girl who had narrated about the incident in her statement recorded by the magistrate under section 164 Cr.P.C and he has also ignored the medical opinion of the doctor while granting bail. He also stated that the bail should not be granted mechanically i.e. the learned judge must assign the reasons for his  different view from the one already taken earlier while rejecting the bail application when investigation was still in progress. The reasons given by the judge like investigation was over and the accused was in custody for 6 months are “not cogent reasons” to grant bail subsequently and instead of granting bail the learned judge should have taken up the case for trial at the earliest. [State of Karnataka v. Nagaraja, Criminal Petition no. 8267/2015, decided on 23rd February]

 

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