The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that an accused cannot be tried under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, even if the person they raped was mentally a child, Hindustan Times reported. The bench held that an accused can be tried under the Posco Act based on the biological age, not mental age, of the person they raped.
The verdict came after the court heard a petition filed by Delhi-based doctor, who had said that in 2010, a man had raped her daughter who was 38 years old but had the mental age of a six-year-old.
The Pocso Act defines a person less than 18 years of age a “child”.
The accused in the case has died, but the mother decided to fight the case, according to Live Law. The petitioner’s advocate, Aiswharya Bhati, claimed that the woman’s mental capacity deteriorated further because of the rape, which made it even more difficult for her to record her statement in front of a magistrate, News18 reported.
The bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said two concurrent judgements had rejected the plea. “We thought about it, but despite our best efforts could not support your view,” Justice Rohinton Mistry told the mother.
The Supreme Court told the petitioner that it will direct the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to give the woman maximum compensation.