POCSO applicable to minor Muslim girl: Delhi HC
One-liner: The Delhi HC has said that the POCSO Act ensures that children are not sexually abused and rejected the assertion that a minor Muslim girl who has attained the age of puberty would fall out of its ambit.
Not law-specific: Justice Jasmeet Singh said the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) protects children below 18 years of age and it is not customary law-specific.
IPC, POCSO Act: The court's observations were made while dealing with a petition seeking quashing of an FIR registered under IPC sections 376 (rape)/506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act.
Contention: The petitioner contended that since the victim, a Muslim girl aged 16 years and 5 months on the date of the alleged incident, was a major under the Muslim Personal Law on account of having attained puberty, POCSO was not applicable.
Refuses to marry: As per the FIR, the petitioner had made physical relations with the victim after their engagement and subsequently refused to marry her.
Bottom line: The victim's parents said that due to whatever transpired in the past, they were not interested in getting the victim married to the petitioner.