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Madhu v. State of Kerala

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012No prejudice caused to the accused for reason of clubbing an offence under Section 376(2) with an offence under the POCSO Act, going by the specific provision in Section 28(2) of the POCSO Act.

Ordinarily, the offence under Section 376 IPC would have to be subjected to committal proceedings under the Cr.P.C. When taking cognizance of a charge under the POCSO Act, the designated Special Court is empowered to try any offence, charged at the same trial. Otherwise, every trial under the POCSO Act will have to wait till the committal proceeding is over and that would defeat the very purpose of the enactment which envisages speedy disposal of the cases. It cannot also be the position that once the age is not proved, the offence under Section 376 would fail for reason of no committal proceedings having been taken under the Cr.P.C.

Criminal Trial – Prejudice Merely by alleging prejudice, without anything stated as to how such prejudice was caused, the accused cannot seek for a reversal of the conviction.

The POCSO Act enables such other offences to be tried without committal proceedings if it is to be tried in the same trial. The grounds of prejudice urged fails also for the reason that it is merely imaginary. We reject it at the outset on the above reasoning and also on the appellant having merely ‘cried foul’ without the particular prejudice caused or the specific failure of justice, having been stated or substantiated.

Criminal Trial – Mere irregularity in charge does not prejudice the accused so long as he was aware of what was expected to be defended.

When a man abandons his wife and children, roving vultures wait to prey on not only the abandoned woman, but also the helpless children. In this case we have a ‘poojari’/’komaram’ (priest/oracle in a temple) taking the abandoned woman and the three children under his wing, only to repeatedly molest the elder girl child, that too in the presence of her siblings. We wonder which God would accept the obeisance and offerings of such a priest or make him a medium ?

Citations : (2021) 9 KCC 319 : 2021 (5) KHC 602