POCSO Act applies to Muslims… having sex with a minor is a crime, Kerala High Court’s decision

Kerala High Court On POCSO Act: The Kerala High Court made a big statement while hearing the bail plea of ​​an accused regarding Muslim Personal Law and Child Marriage. The court said that even if the accused is a Muslim, the POCSO Act applies to him. Marriage between Muslims under personal law is not outside the purview of the POCSO Act. If a husband has sex with a minor wife, a case can be filed against him under the POCSO Act. 

A single bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas on Friday (November 19) ruled on the bail plea of ​​an accused that if the girl is a minor, then the offense under the POCSO Act would be applicable. The court rejected the bail plea of ​​an accused arrested for raping a 16-year-old girl. According to the aggrieved party, the accused abducted the minor girl and sexually assaulted her several times. The 31-year-old later married the minor.

The accused gave this argument in the court

The accused said that he was legally married to the girl and the Muslim Personal Law Board allows marriage of girls from the community after attaining puberty. He cannot be prosecuted under the POCSO Act. The accused argued that he had married the girl in March 2021 and made her his legal partner under the personal laws applicable to him. He also cited earlier judgments of the Haryana, Delhi and Karnataka High Courts in support of his claim, but the court rejected all his arguments.

What did the High Court say?

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