‘Not Unusual That A Girl Of 16 Years Falls In Love With A Boy Aged 24 Years Or Vice Versa’ : HP High Court Grants Bail In POCSO Case

first_imgNews Updates’Not Unusual That A Girl Of 16 Years Falls In Love With A Boy Aged 24 Years Or Vice Versa’ : HP High Court Grants Bail In POCSO Case LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK15 Feb 2021 7:14 AMShare This – xThe Himachal Pradesh High Court recently granted bail to a 24 year old youth, who was accused in a POCSO case for having sexual intercourse with a girl aged 16 years.A single bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara noted that the accused, who has been under custody for over three months, was romantically involved with the girl. Even the girl “was bold enough to declare that she was in love with…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Himachal Pradesh High Court recently granted bail to a 24 year old youth, who was accused in a POCSO case for having sexual intercourse with a girl aged 16 years.A single bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara noted that the accused, who has been under custody for over three months, was romantically involved with the girl. Even the girl “was bold enough to declare that she was in love with the accused”, the Court observed.”When her parents asked her to return home, she refused to go with thembecause she was in love with the petitioner. The girl’s unequivocal declaration abouther passion for the boy is not an ordinary activity for a young girl in a Hindu rural society”, the Court observed.”The boy is aged 24 years, whereas the girl is aged 16. Even though the age gap between them is enormous, this is probably because of social background. Families arrange marriages in the Indian social setup. In such arrangements, mostly, the bride is younger than the groom, sometimes with a considerable age gap. The children also notice that their father is older than their mother. Such social settings might be a catalyst for a girl to fall in love with a more senior boy. Even otherwise, it is not unusual that a girl aged 16 years of age falls in love with a boy aged 24 years or vice versa. Love is indeed blind. Undoubtedly, he should not have had coitus with the victim, but allegedly still, he went ahead with it. It is also beyond any comprehension that he should have refrained from caressing, fondling, and talking of the penetrative act. Undoubtedly, due to the lack of an appropriate curriculum on sex education in schools, people do not know what is legally prohibited. It is for the Executive to think about sex education. However, it is a policy matter for the policymakers to consider, and this Court refrains from commenting upon it”, the Court further observed.The Court noted that the age of consent for sex has been made 18 years with the enactment of the POCSO Act and that a child under 18 years of age cannot consent, then how much mature, intelligent, or informed she may be. It said: “Until 19th June 2012, when the Government notified POCSO, and till 1st April 2013, when the Government notified IPC amendments, the age of consent was 16 years. It is common knowledge that today’s generation is far ahead then what they were in the 20th century. Availability of smartphones and better access to internet has brought all knowledge instantly to their palms. Be that as it may, in a democracy, the Legislative wisdom reflects the people’s will. In this backdrop, the Courts have to be overly concerned. When the legislature says that a child under 18 years of age cannot consent, then how much mature, intelligent, or informed a child maybe, she cannot consent”.The court observed that it is not a case of forcible sexual relationship; instead, the victim surrendered to the petitioner’s physical desires out of her love and affection towards him. Therefore, the Court proceeded to allow his bail application.”The victim’s boldness to declare her passion towards the petitioner in the presence of her father and Police speaks volumes. Further, she also told them explicitly that she left her home out of her own free will and refused to go back with her father. These facts point out that the victim, being 16 years of age, though a minor, voluntarily left her home.Therefore, the rigors to reject bail and reasons to continue incarceration are reduced by the mitigating factors in the present case”, the Court said.The Court also remarked that people do not know what is legally prohibited due to the lack of an appropriate curriculum on sex education in schools.”It is for the Executive to think about sex education. However, it is a policy matter for the policymakers to consider, and this Court refrains from commenting upon it”, Justice Anoop Chitkara observed.In this case, the girl’s father had lodged the complaint before the Police that the accused kidnapped and raped his minor daughter. Based on this complaint, FIR was lodged against him and he was arrested. While considering the bail application, the court noted that neither S. 376 of the Indian Penal Code  (IPC), nor S. 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) create any restriction on grant of bail.”If the legislature intended to bar bails altogether, then nothing had stopped them from making a similar bar as they put in place vide S. 37 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, (NDPS) or for S. 438 under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, (SCSTPOA)”, the court said. The court noticed that the girl had declared that she was in love with the accused. The bench made the following observations”Kidnapping and rape are indeed very heinous offences. However, at the bail stage, the Court has to consider prima facie under what circumstances the offence is committed by the accused. Considering the same, the Court believes that the petitioner has made out a case for bail, and his further incarceration is uncalled for”, the Court said..Recently, the Madras High Court opined about the need to amend the POCSO Act to exempt the acts of adolescents entering into sexual relations with each other.”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 Madras HC observed.Click here to Read/Download OrderRead OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Delving into dark matter

first_imgScientists widely accept that the extinction of the dinosaurs was triggered when a massive object smashed into Earth and touched off a global ice age that wiped out as many as three-quarters of all species. The question, however, is where that object originated.Harvard physicists believe they may have the answer, and their theory may prompt scientists to re-evaluate the decades-old conventional wisdom about one of the most mysterious substances in the universe: dark matter.Though the exact nature of dark matter remains unknown, physicists have been able to infer its existence based on the gravitational effect it exerts on ordinary matter. Though dark matter is otherwise believed to be non-interacting, theoretical physicists Lisa Randall, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science, and Matthew Reece, assistant professor of physics, earlier this year suggested that a hypothetical type of dark matter could form a disk of material that runs through the center of the galaxy.If the solar system, as it orbited the center of the galaxy, were to move through that disk, they theorized that the gravitational effects from the dark matter might be enough to dislodge comets and other objects from what’s known as the Oort Cloud and send them hurtling toward Earth.“Those objects are only weakly gravitationally bound,” Randall said. “With enough of a trigger, it’s possible to dislodge objects from their current orbit. While some will go out of the solar system, others may come into the inner solar system, which increases the likelihood that they may hit the Earth.”The model described by Randall and Reece suggests that those oscillations occur approximately every 35 million years, a figure that is on par with evidence collected from impact craters suggesting that increases in meteor strikes occur over similar periods.The extinction of the dinosaurs, however, is just one theory that will have to be re-examined if Randall and Reece’s theory proves true.“We have some genuinely new ideas,” Randall said. “I’ll say from the start that we don’t know if they’re going to turn out to be right, but what’s interesting is that this opens the door to a whole class of ideas that haven’t been tested before, and potentially have a great deal of interesting impacts.”Working with postdoctoral fellow Jakub Scholtz, Randall and Reece are also investigating whether the newly proposed form of dark matter may play a role in one of the largest mysteries in astrophysics: how the massive black holes at the centers of galaxies form.“One possibility is that it may ‘seed’ black holes at the center of galaxies,” she said. “This is a work in progress. It’s an entirely new scenario we’re working out, so I don’t want to overstate anything, but it’s a very interesting possibility.”Though the hypothesis adds additional complexity to a number of already-thorny questions about the nature of the universe, Randall believes it will be important to understand if a portion — even a relatively small portion — of dark matter behaves in unexpected ways.Over the next several years, Randall said, the Gaia satellite, which was launched earlier this year by the European Space Agency, will perform a precise survey of the position and velocity of as many as a billion stars, giving scientists far greater insights into the shape of the galaxy and into the potential presence of a disk of dark matter.“If you were to look at our world and assume there was only one type of particle, you’d be pretty wrong,” Randall said. “I think it’s definitely a worthwhile theory to explore, because even if this is only a small fraction of dark matter, there is six times more dark matter in the universe than ordinary matter. We care a lot about ordinary matter, and that’s precisely because it has interactions. So if there is a small portion of dark matter that has those interactions, that may be what we should pay attention to, perhaps even more so than other dark matter.”last_img read more