Romantic Cases under the POCSO Act

Uploaded: over 1 year ago; Last updated: over 1 year ago ; Date of Publication: ---June-2022

Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal

2016 - 2020


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

There is a need for evidence on the proportion of romantic cases under the POCSO Act, and the manner in which the law is being used to regulate or criminalise adolescents in non-exploitative consensual relationships that are voluntary and do not entail force, coercion, or compulsion. It is with this objective that Enfold Proactive Health Trust, with support from UNICEF-India, undertook the analysis of 1715 judgments decided between 2016 and 2020 by Special Courts in Assam, Maharashtra, and West Bengal, that entailed an express reference to a romantic relationship between the victim and the accused.


Research Report

The research was initiated in May 2021 and completed by April 2022. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the judgments was undertaken to gain an in-depth understanding of the manner in which “romantic” cases enter the criminal justice system, the profile of informants and “victims”, nature of charges applied in such cases, and the trends in testimony of the “victims” and its correlation with the outcomes. The analysis also focuses on the diverse approaches taken by the Special Courts in such cases, particularly their views on consent by minors.


Policy Brief

The implication of the POCSO Act in India on Adolescent Sexuality