Sexual crimes against women had somewhat been on the decline during the lockdown brought on by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic. However, during this same period, domestic violence saw a sharp increase. Unfortunately, with all the good things coming by way of the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, it looks like sexual crime against women has been resurfacing too. A Thoothukudi man by the name of Arunkumar, impregnated his 17-year-old relative girl and was subsequently arrested on September 2nd and charged under the POCSO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. However, the accused had recently applied for bail, which is normally very difficult to obtain for anybody charged and sentenced under the POCSO act! 

In an interesting turn of events, it has now come to light that a judge has granted Arunkumar bail, under circumstances that seem a bit like a scene from our movies! Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, has granted bail to the accused. This came about, after Arunkumar gave an undertaking of marrying the victim, as soon as she turns 18! The judge has also stipulated that the marriage should be registered within 6 weeks of the girl turning 18 and the marriage certificate be submitted to the Police. If the accused fails to do so, the Police have been directed to take him back into custody. 

As part of the bail conditions, Arunkumar has been asked to appear before the Police daily, at 10:30 am! The judge has also instructed the parents of both the accused and the victim to file a joint affidavit at the Special Court for POCSO cases, in Thoothukudi! This is to show their respective consent for the marriage. The judge also announced that he had arrived at this decision only after hearing the girl's side of the story. Reports state that the girl had revealed that Arunkumar and she were closely related and had fallen in love mutually, following which they had engaged in a physical relationship leading to her getting pregnant. Considering all the circumstances and situations involved, the judge granted bail to Arunkumar!