HC quashes case against women protesters

Criminal cases booked against six women who proceeded to participate in a protest meeting against the setting up of a plant of Indian Oil Corporation at Puthuvype along with their minor children were quashed by the Kerala High Court.

Allowing the plea of the women, Justice Kauser Edappagath noted that no purpose would be served in proceeding with the case further against the petitioners.

The police had booked the women by invoking Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The prosecution case was that the women, along with their children, had proceeded to participate in the agitation. They were arrested at Bolgatty Junction on June 16, 2017.

The counsel for the women argued that no offence under the Act could be made out even when the allegations in the First Information Statement together with the materials collected during the investigation were taken at face value. However, the Public Prosecutor contended that the offence under the Act was clearly attracted and a prima facie case made out.

To attract Section 75 of the Act, the court noted that a child should have been assaulted, abandoned, abused, or wilfully neglected in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental or physical suffering.

No offence under the Act will be attracted in the absence of allegation that juveniles are subjected to mental or physical suffering. Also, the prosecution has no case that the petitioners caused any unnecessary mental or physical suffering to the children. Moreover, the petitioners did not take part in the agitation and were arrested on their way, the court noted.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 2:02:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hc-quashes-case-against-women-protesters/article65561952.ece