In the case of Imran Iqbal Shaikh vs the State of Maharashtra, a claim was made by Imran Shaikh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police after being accused of abducting and raping a young girl. The child, however, claimed that the connection was consensual and that she had left her parents’ home on her own in December 2020, not being abducted. However, the applicant was arrested in February 2021 and has been imprisoned ever since her mother accused him of kidnapping and rape. As a result, crimes that were punishable by sections 363 and 367 of the Indian Penal Code began to be recorded.
From the victim’s mother’s statement, a single judge bench of the Bombay High Court’s Justice Anuja Prabhudessai inferred that the applicant accused and the victim’s daughter had a consensual relationship. The Bombay High Court had granted bail to a 23-year-old male who had been charged with raping a minor, and the court further argued that the POCSO Act was not intended to penalise juveniles who were in love or consensual relationships. According to the first informant’s account, the connection was consensual. In order to safeguard the interests and welfare of the children, the POCSO Act, which was designed to protect minors from crimes like sexual assault and harassment, among other things, contains strict criminal penalties. Certainly not punishing or criminalising adolescents who are in romantic or consenting relationships.