FIR can't be quashed on ground of delay, says HC while hearing molestation case

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Home / India News / FIR can’t be quashed on ground of delay, says HC while hearing molestation case

Observing that first information reports (FIRs) cannot be quashed only on the ground of delay, the Bombay high court last week dismissed a petition filed by a Khar resident seeking the quashing of a case of molestation of his minor daughter registered against him.

“The FIR cannot be quashed merely on the ground of delay,” said the bench of justice SS Shinde and justice MS Karnik while rejecting the Khar resident’s contention that there was an inordinate delay in reporting the alleged crime to police and the FIR was registered about five years after the purported incident.

He was booked by Khar police in February 2019 on the complaint of the mother of the victim under sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force against a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty) 354A (assault or use of criminal force to a woman with an intent to disrobe her) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 8 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and also under relevant sections of the IPC.

The woman alleged that her husband used to bath naked with their daughter when she was 5/6 years of age, and also used to touch her inappropriately.

The husband had moved HC for quashing of the FIR also on the ground that the allegations levelled against him were utterly false and the FIR was registered at the behest of his estranged wife out of vengeance. He submitted that the child was very comfortable with him and also presented his photographs and videos with the child.

Advocate Aditya Pratap, who represented the complainant woman, strenuously opposed the petition. He pointed out that if allegations in the FIR were read in entirety and taken at face value, it disclosed commission of offence, which needed further investigation.

He further submitted that the statement of the child under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was recorded and unless the statement was tested before the trial court, it would not be appropriate to accede to the prayer for quashing of the FIR.

HC accepted Aditya Pratap’s submissions. The bench said that a perusal of allegations in the FIR made it clear that the relevant sections of IPC and of the POCSO Act were “clearly attracted and consequently alleged offences have been disclosed”.

The bench added that it could not, at this preliminary stage, go into the veracity of the allegations and examine whether allegations were true or false.

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