Court clears youth of rape, calls him saviour. Girl’s Parents were trying to sell daughter for 1.5 lakhs !! Youth married girl after the ‘elopement’
"…Here, the accused rather acted as a saviour preventing the girl from the possibility of her being dragged to prostitution or immoral or illegal purposes," additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma said……"
Court clears youth of rape, calls him saviour
TNN | Nov 22, 2013, 03.15 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Acquitting a youth of raping and kidnapping a minor whom he married, a trial court has said that the accused rather acted as a saviour and married the teenager and prevented her from being dragged into prostitution or any immoral activity by her parents.
The court said that under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, maintaining physical relations with a child is an offence provided it is in the nature of an "assault" but here the 17-and-a-half-year-old girl had voluntarily gone with him and there was no fear or undue influence over her.
Referring to the girl’s statement, the court noted that the girl had eloped and married the youth on her own as they were in love and her parents wanted to sell her to someone for Rs 1.5 lakh. The court said the fact that the youth has married the girl absolves him of the charge for committing penetrative sexual assault under the POCSO Act.
"It must be stated that in case of critical age between 16 years to 18 years, section 4 (penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act has to be interpreted distinguishing between an act which is per se criminal for being in the nature of coercion, fear, inducement or exploitation committed upon a child from an act which would otherwise criminalize a person for having done something which is without any malice, ill will or ulterior motives. Here, the accused rather acted as a saviour preventing the girl from the possibility of her being dragged to prostitution or immoral or illegal purposes," additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma said.
The girl had told the court that she married the youth in a temple and thereafter they maintained physical relations. According to the prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the girl’s parents at R K Puram Police Station in May this year that she has been kidnapped with an intention to marry her or force her for sexual intercourse. The girl was found after two days and the youth was arrested.
During the trial, the girl was kept in a women’s reform home after she refused to go with her parents. After decision of the case, the court directed reform home, Nirmal Chhaya, to release the girl so that she can join her husband. While acquitting the youth of kidnapping charge, the judge said the girl was at the verge of majority when she decided to leave her parents and went away with the accused on her own and he cannot be said to have done an act of kidnapping the minor with a view to commit sexual assault.
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