Section 4 of the POCSO Act is gender-neutral for sexual crimes against a child, however, most often we see a rebound by adult women alleging how they got raped instead by minor boys. Once again, in most cases the women are go unpunished and the minor boy is acted upon as per guidelines laid down by the Juvenile Justice Laws.
Nonetheless, in a rarest of rare incident that was reported in January this year, the Haryana police registered a case against an adult woman for raping a 14-year-old minor boy. The accused, a 29-year-old woman was booked under section 4 of the Prevention of Child from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, after investigation in the matter.
While registering a case against the accused lady under directions from the local court in Palwal district, Haryana, investigating ASI Anju Devi then said,
The accused woman is absconding. We are working to arrest her.
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According to Palwal police, the woman had complained in October last year accusing the ‘youth’ of raping her. Based on the complaint, the police even arrested the accused minor who was sent to judicial custody by the court.
Adult Woman’s Allegations On Minor Boy
The woman said she lost her husband some years ago. She alleged that the accused promised to marry her and the two began living together. She also said she became pregnant, but the accused went back on his words to marry her.
Informing more about the case, police officer Anju Devi said that previously the woman had lodged a case against the minor boy in September, 2019. Since the boy was minor, he was released and a FIR was lodged against the woman this month (January 2020) for raping the minor boy. As per police records, the woman is a widow, who claimed to have alleged sexual relations with the minor boy.
Rape Laws In India Are Not Gender Neutral
Advocate Mohit Garg said that the section under which the woman has been booked by the police carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Rape laws as defined under section 375 of the Indian Penal Code are not gender-neutral and provide for punishment only for raping a woman. However, advocate Mohit Garg also added,
Section 4 of the POCSO Act prescribes punishment for a penetrative sexual assault on a child. Under the law a child is any person below 18 years of age.
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This is surely one of the rare cases where the adult woman has been booked. However, in the absence of gender neutral rape laws in our country, adult straight men have no provisions whatsoever to file case, if they are forced into sexual relationship by women.
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