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Karnataka HC grants interim bail to accused in POCSO case, orders him to marry victim

In a rare decision, the Karnataka High Court granted interim bail to Ravi, accused of sexually assaulting a minor, to marry the now 18-year-old victim for their child's welfare. Ravi, in judicial custody under the POCSO Act, must return by June 3 with the marriage registration. The court emphasized strict adherence to bail conditions.

Karnataka High Court grants interim bail to accused in POCSO case, orders him to marry victim vkp
First Published Jun 18, 2024, 10:15 AM IST

In a rare and controversial decision, the Karnataka High Court has granted interim bail to Ravi (name changed), an accused in a sexual assault case involving a minor, to marry the victim. The court's decision aims to protect the welfare of the child born from the incident and the now 18-year-old victim.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna's bench heard the petition filed by Ravi from Mysuru, seeking to quash the criminal case registered against him under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Under strict conditions, the court granted him interim bail from June 17 to June 3, specifically to marry the victim.

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Ravi, 23, and the victim were reportedly in a relationship. In 2023, Ravi was accused of taking the victim, then 16 years and 9 months old, to a deserted area and sexually assaulting her. Following a complaint by the victim's mother, Ravi was arrested, and a chargesheet was filed under the POCSO Act. He has been in judicial custody since his arrest.

During the recent hearing, Ravi's counsel argued that both Ravi and the victim were in love and that their parents had interfered in their relationship. The victim, now 18, and Ravi decided to marry, with the support of their parents. The counsel argued that this marriage would provide stability for the victim and their one-year-old child, preventing future humiliation and ensuring their well-being.

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Considering the DNA report confirming Ravi and the victim as the biological parents, the High Court ruled that the child's future and the victim's interests needed protection. The court ordered that Ravi be granted interim bail to marry the victim. He must return by the evening of June 3 and submit the marriage registration letter to the court on June 4. Additionally, Ravi is required to report to the concerned police station once a week while on bail.

The court emphasised that any violation of the interim bail conditions would be taken seriously. The hearing has been adjourned to June 4. This ruling aims to safeguard the interests of the victim and the child, ensuring they do not face any future humiliation and providing a stable environment for the child's upbringing.

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