In a one-of-a-kind incident, a 23-year-old man, who is suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome, was granted bail by a Mumbai court in connection with a case of sexual assault and kidnapping.
Peter Pan Syndrome is a condition which causes an adult to behave socially immaturely. The syndrome affects both men and women.
While arguing for bail, the accused’s counsel pointed out that the 14-year-old victim, though a minor, was well aware of the accused’s condition and was in a relationship with him out of her own free will.
"The victim's family knew about their relationship. But, her family didn't like their relationship due to the boy's illness and poor background and also had a grudge against his family members," advocate Sunil Pandey, appearing for the accused told the court.
Meanwhile, special public prosecutor Veena Shelar opposed the plea and denied all the allegations made by the applicant.
The prosecution contended that there is prima-facie sufficient material on record to show the involvement of the applicant in the commission of the offence.
There is no material on record about the illness of the accused applicant. If the accused is released on bail, he may tamper with the evidence in the case, the prosecutor said.
The court, after hearing the submissions, granted bail to the accused, saying his detention will serve no purpose as the probe into the matter is completed and nothing has to be recovered from him.
Special Judge S C Jadhav granted bail to the accused on a bond of Rs 25,000 and several other conditions.
The court noted that the victim's statement "prima facie shows she herself left her parents' house and joined the company the accused".
The facts of the case indicate the girl (even though she is a minor) had sufficient knowledge and capacity to know full import of what she was doing and only thereafter voluntarily joined the applicant, the court observed.
(With PTI inputs)