Enlarging Shah on bail could have a direct impact on the trial and hence his application should be rejected, he argued.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has rejected the bail application of a man who married a minor girl and had sexual intercourse with her, thus becoming guilty of being prosecuted under the POCSO Act. The court held that the biological mother of the girl forcefully married her daughter to the man, who is double her age, for vested interest, mostly monetary benefit.
A single bench of Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing the bail application of Pratik Shah, who was apprehended by Bhayandar police after a 15-year-old girl complained that she had been married by her mother to Shah without her consent and he had sexual intercourse with her on the grounds that they were married. She had managed to flee and lodged a police complaint.
Shah was booked and arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and is undergoing trial in the sessions court.
While praying for bail, advocate Sandesh Patil informed the court that Shah had married the minor girl after he was convinced by the mother of the girl that she is of marriageable age.
However, additional public prosecutor Arfan Sait argued that it was evident that the girl had been sold by the mother for monetary consideration and from the statement of the minor it could be construed that she had fled from Shah not once but twice due to the physical abuse to which he had subjected the girl. Enlarging Shah on bail could have a direct impact on the trial and hence his application should be rejected, he argued.
After hearting both, arguments the court said the application is without merit and denied bail to Shah.