Chennai: Noticing the surge of cases where partners of the teenage girls are incriminated under the POCSO Act, the Madras High Court on Wednesday called upon the legislatures to amend the act according to the changing societal needs.
The court was considering a case where a 20-year-old boy was arrested by the police for kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor girl.
"The provisions of the POCSO Act, as it stands today, will surely make the acts of the boy an offence due its stringent nature. An adolescent boy caught in a situation like this will surely have no defense if the criminal case is taken to its logical end," said a single bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh.
"Incidents of this nature keep occurring regularly even now in villages and towns and occasionally in cities. After the parents or family lodge a complaint, the police register FIRs for offences of kidnapping and various offences under the POCSO Act. Several criminal cases booked under the POCSO Act fall under this category. As a consequence of such an FIR being registered, invariably the boy gets arrested and thereafter, his youthful life comes to a grinding halt," the order said.
The bench noted that the allegation was raised against the boy who was in a consensual relationship with the alleged victim.
"It is high time that the legislature takes into consideration cases of this nature involving adolescents involved in relationships and swiftly bring in necessary amendments under the Act. The legislature has to keep pace with the changing societal needs and bring about necessary changes in law and more particularly in a stringent law such as the POCSO Act," the order said.
The judge went on to say that the objective of the Act was never to punish an adolescent boy who enters into relationship with a minor girl by treating him as an offender.