CHENNAI:A 21 year old rape a 17 year old boy but when she get pregnant she file rape case on him, as per law whoever have sex with underage child is crime but here, police proved again that whatever women do is right, even they rape, they can file rape case on others and police will take her complaints and take action.
The case of a 17-year-old boy being detained and sent to a juvenile home for ‘exploiting’ a 21-year-old woman and ‘fathering’ a child has shocked child rights and human rights activists alike.
The boy was detained by police in Thanjavur based on a complaint from the woman, who said she had a consensual sexual relationship with the boy as he had ‘promised’ to marry her. After she became pregnant, she said, he ‘ditched’ her and refused to marry her.
“Leave alone the alleged promise, even if they are married, it would be void because he is a minor,” said former special public prosecutor for human rights court V Kannadasan. The allegation of false promise too would not hold water as his consent and promise are void ab initio (null and void from the beginning), he said.
“Even a bare reading of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 would leave no one in doubt that he is the victim. Even if every word in her complaint is taken on its face value, the boy cannot be treated as a juvenile in conflict with law and sent to a juvenile home. For he is a victim, not the offender,” said advocate-activist T K R Sudha.
It is the woman of marriageable age who is in a position of deciding. She could not have extracted consent from the boy, who is incompetent to give consent, said former judge of the Madras high court K Chandru. He ought not to have been detained merely because there was a complaint, the jurist said, adding that given his age the boy could not have taken an informed decision. “That is the reason why the law is on his side,” he said.
Pointing out that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 disallowed under-age marriages, Kannadasan said the woman herself was aware of the fact that he is a minor while she was a woman of marriageable age. “Such contracts and consents are void even under the Indian Contract Act, 1872,” he said.
Now that the boy has been ‘detained’, what are the remedies available to him? “The jurisdictional child welfare committee should invoke its suo motu powers and appeal against his remand,” said Chandru, adding that the boy’s parents too can move the board for bail.
Echoing the opinion, Kannadasan said Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 mandates that the juvenile justice board grant bail in such matters immediately, unless it apprehends that the juvenile’s release would result in his re-association with antisocial elements.