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POCSO Case: Defendant Granted Interim Bail for Marriage Pursuant to Court Order

Allahabad High Court Grants Interim Bail for Marriage in POCSO Case

The Allahabad High Court recently granted temporary release to a defendant in a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) to facilitate his marriage to the complainant, despite the State’s objection that the girl involved was only 17 years old and thus not of marriageable age.

Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan made the decision after both the defendant and the complainant disclosed they were in a relationship. The defendant argued that the case was filed by the victim’s family solely because she belonged to a different religious community. The Court also took into consideration that the complainant had already given birth to a child who was now over a month old.

With the condition that the defendant would marry the complainant, the Court ordered his release until July 3.

The Court mandated that immediately upon release, the defendant must marry the complainant within 15 days. Furthermore, the couple must register their marriage with the Registrar of Marriage within the same timeframe. The Registrar was instructed to expedite the registration process if all requirements were met.

The Court emphasized that the interim bail would be revoked automatically if the defendant or the victim violated any of the conditions, and if a complaint was lodged by the victim or her family regarding such violation.

The defendant had been in custody since January 2 in a rape case filed in Pratapgarh district. Seeking bail, he claimed innocence and argued that the relationship was consensual. The victim, in her statement before the trial court, corroborated the defendant’s account and expressed her desire to marry him.

Although the State contested the victim’s age based on radiological tests, it did not oppose the request for interim bail, acknowledging the willingness of both parties to marry.

The Court scheduled a hearing for July 3, on which date the couple is required to appear in person with their marriage certificate.

The defendant was represented by Advocates Sarjoo Ram, Aklavya, and Dinesh Kumar, while Advocate NK Pandey represented the State, and Advocate Arvind Kumar represented the complainant.

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