The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed a rape case against a 30-year-old man, stating that a 17 or 18-year-old adolescent is capable of making conscious decisions about their well-being.
According to the prosecution, the man and the girl involved in the case became friends through Facebook and later started communicating over the phone.
In December 2020, the man invited the girl to meet him and took her to a hotel, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her and coerced her into having intercourse.
The man was accused of threatening to share explicit pictures of the girl online and deceiving her with a false promise of marriage, leading her to believe that he was unmarried.
In 2022, the man reportedly revealed that he was already married and could not marry her, as per the prosecution's claims.
The complaint made by the prosecutrix led to the subsequent registration of the FIR.
Justice Deepak Kumar Agarwal, in his order on 12 July, acknowledged that the prosecutrix is a minor. However, considering her physical and mental development as an adolescent, the court deemed it reasonable to believe that she is capable of making conscious decisions regarding her well-being. The court found no evidence of intention in the case.
The petitioner's counsel argued that the FIR lodged after one year is false and that any sexual intercourse, if it occurred, was consensual.
The prosecution opposed the petitioner's plea, stating that the case cannot be quashed due to the prosecutrix being a minor.
The court rejected the prosecution's arguments and stated that proceeding with the case in the trial court would be futile given the unique facts and circumstances. After considering the submissions of both parties, the court allowed the petitioner's prayer.
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