In a habeas corpus petition by the father of a minor girl who had eloped with a boy who was himself a minor, the bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice N. V. Anjaria noticed that “the respondent no.5 is himself a minor and is yet to be found”, the bench lamented, “We are also at pain to learn that though he himself is a minor, he has chosen to take away the corpus who is a minor, lending himself in the net of the law, particularly of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act)”.
In this respect, Gujarat High Court had put forth a concern and stated –
“young boys who themselves are not major, many a times without realizing the consequences of their act, or “many a times actuated by frenzy of youth”, “eventually label themselves as offenders in the matters of POCSO”.
Though the Court acknowledged that “This Act is brought on the statute book with laudable objectives, with a view to protect the girl child in the society, with more and more offences affecting the girl children”, it expressed that “right kind of understanding needs to be given, in the form of legal awareness amongst the children and the college students so that the society can simultaneously protect very young minor boys, who due to their lack of understanding of law, turn into the offenders in serious matters”.
In several Habeas Corpus petitions it is noticed by the court that “young boys who themselves are not major”, owing to their “careless approach towards stringent laws”, are rounded up to “face serious consequences of rigorous punishment prescribed under the law”.
Accordingly, directions were provided by the Court to the concerned Superintendent of Police, to take up this issue with the Anti Human Trafficking cell and District Legal Services Authority for creating awareness amongst the youngsters w.