By LE Desk

Kochi, April 30: The Kerala High Court has recalled five of its orders acquitting persons accused in sexual assault cases coming under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. That includes a case relating to the rape of a minor girl by a 22-year-old man who cited that he had later married the girl.

In two cases, offences were alleged under the POCSO Act, since at the time of the alleged commission of the crime, the victims were minors. While quashing the cases, the court had taken into account the affidavits filed by the respective victims and complainants stating that the cases were settled between them. 

While withdrawing the orders, Justice K Haripal observed that, at the time of passing the orders, the court had not noticed the decision of the Supreme Court, in the Gian Singh vs State of Punjab case, which held that that heinous and serious offence of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc., cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute, The New Indian Express reported. 

“The counsel for the petitioners pointed out that once the orders are pronounced and signed by this court, it cannot review the orders. But the argument cannot be accepted for the reason that these cases were called not to review the orders but to point out the omission to note the law laid down by the apex court which is binding on this court,” observed the Single Judge.

The court further said, “When the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court was not considered, it was a serious matter, and therefore, there was no legal impediment in recalling the orders.”

Recalling the orders suo motu, the court added that such matters require serious consideration and a detailed hearing. Hence, it directed to post the case immediately after the reopening of the court after the summer vacation.

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