POCSO Act | Chargesheet Filed Without FSL Report Not Incomplete, No Ground For Default Bail U/S 167(2) CrPC: Punjab & Haryana High Court
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while dealing with a case registered under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO), held that, for an offense of sexual assault, final report would be complete on statement of the prosecutrix and FSL report can be used only to corroborate their version.
The bench comprising Justice Suvir Sehgal held that based on the challan filed by the Investigating Agency, the Court can take cognizance of the offense.
The Court was dealing with a petition filed under Section 401 CrPC challenging trial court order whereby his application seeking default bail under Section 167(2) of the Code was dismissed.
The moot question before the court was whether non-submission of FSL report would result in entitling the accused to seek default bail under Section 167 (2) in a case relating to the sexual exploitation of women.
Counsel for Petitioner contended that challan presented before the trial Court is defective as it is not accompanied by the FSL report. It was argued that defective challan cannot be taken to have been submitted in compliance of the statutory provisions and the petitioner is entitled to grant of default bail under Section 167 (2) of the Code.
The state argued that the charge sheet was presented within the stipulated period. Further, mere non-filing of the FSL report with the final report will not make the challan incomplete and the petitioner is not entitled to be released on default bail keeping in view the nature of allegations and the gravity of offense allegedly committed by him.
Adverting to the facts of the present case, the final report submitted by the investigating agency is accompanied by the statements of the prosecutrix, her mother, birth certificate, clothes, medical reports of the accused and the victim, and other incriminating material, though insofar as FSL is concerned, it has been mentioned that it has yet not been received.
After relying on the judgments of State of Haryana vs. Mehal Singh and others, 1978 AIR (P&H) 341 and ‘Rakesh alias Moni vs. State of Haryana’, the court concluded that in an offense of sexual assault the final report would be complete on the statement of the prosecutrix and FSL report can be used only to corroborate the version of the prosecution.
It is not disputed that the challan has been presented within the stipulated period against the petitioner for offence under Section 376-AB, 506, IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. For an offence of sexual assault, the final report would be complete on the statement of the prosecutrix under Sections 161 and 164 of the Code and FSL report can be used only to corroborate the version of the prosecution.
Court further stipulated that cognizance of the offense can be taken by the court based on the challan filed by the Investigating Agency and non-filing of FSL report with the challan does not make the challan an incomplete one.
Thus, finding no illegality or perversity in the order passed by the trial Court and the instant petition being sans merit, the court dismissed the plea.
Case Title : Kulwinder Singh v. State of Punjab