Consensual sex between minors a grey area: Bombay HC

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The Bombay High Court has suspended the sentence of a 19-year-old boy who was convicted for sexually assaulting his 15-year-old cousin, and allowed him bail after observing that the victim has retracted from her FIR statement and because the forensic lab report that could prove the sexual assault was not available till the conclusion of the trial.

The court also took notice of the fact that the minor has retracted her statement and that her mother showed unfriendly behaviour during trials. The matter will now be taken up during the appeal against the conviction.

The boy was earlier convicted of 10 years’ imprisonment for raping his minor cousin living with him. 

According to report, the girl was a student of Class 8 and lived in the house of her paternal uncle for two years. In September, 2017, the victim told her friend that her cousin brother had touched her inappropriately. The friend informed the class teacher who, after speaking with the with the victim, told the principal about the incident.

FIR was registered against the boy. When the matter reached the court, the victim said she was sexually assaulted in September, October 2017 and again in February, 2018. However, the medical examination report of the victim claimed there were external injuries on her on the date of the FIR registration.

The HC observed that consensual sex with a minor “has been in a legal grey area because the consent given by a minor is not considered to be valid in the eyes of law.” It also observed that “in the case at hand, facts are distinctive” and “the accused and victim live under the same roof. They are students A fact cannot be overlooked that the victim had resiled from her statement”.

The court suspended the sentence of the boy and allowed him to be released on bail.

Image Source: Google

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