A special court in Mumbai has granted bail to a 23-year-old man booked on charges of sexual assault on a minor stating that they were romantically involved and she had voluntarily been with the accused.
The defence had told the court the man was in a relationship with the 14-year-old girl and both their family members were aware of it. The man’s lawyer also told the court that the two lived together, were “married” and were thus in a consensual relationship.
“Prima facie, it seems that the applicant-accused and the victim knew each other and were romantically involved… Her statement shows that the victim herself left her parents’ house and joined the company of the applicant-accused.
No doubt that the applicant is a minor, however, the facts of the present case indicate that she had sufficient knowledge and capacity to know the full import of what she was doing and had only, thereafter, voluntarily joined the applicant,” the court said Monday while allowing the bail plea of the man.
The lawyer, Sunil Pandey, claimed before the court that the man suffered from “Peter Pan Syndrome” that affected people “who do not want or feel unable to grow up, where a person’s mental age is more than his/her physical age”.
Special public prosecutor Veena Shelar said a medical examination of the man, conducted after the incident, had shown no signs of any abnormality and the defence itself had failed to submit any relevant medical papers.
The World Health Organisation also does not recognise “Peter Pan Syndrome” as a health disorder.
The court, while allowing the bail plea, took into consideration the chargesheet and the victim’s statement.
The man was arrested on April 6 this year, two days after a sexual assault case was lodged against him stating that he had kidnapped and later sexually abused the minor.