Youth 'kidnaps' minor girl, let off

A youth accused of kidnapping a minor girl and inducing her to marry him has been acquitted by a Delhi court after the girl said she went with him on her own.

The minor girl was four months short of being 18, an adult under the definition of the law. The trial court quoted a judgement of the Supreme Court in a similar case to rely on the statement of the victim.

“In the present case too, there was no word in the deposition of the prosecutrix from which it could be inferred that she had left the house of her father at the instance, or even at the suggestion of the accused,” said an additional sessions judge.

“She had constantly stated before the court and in her statement before the metropolitan magistrate that she had gone with accused on her free will, which, by no stretch of the imagination, could be said to be the accused having taken her out of the keeping of lawful guardianship,” the judge said.

City resident Akhtar Ali was freed by the court, saying the prosecution has also failed to prove that the accused had abducted the girl with the intention to marry her, or to have an illicit relationship with her.

“Accordingly, the accused is acquitted of the offences under Section 363/366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her for marriage) of the IPC,” the judge said.

The girl’s parents had lodged a complaint, alleging that on March 16, 2012, the accused had abducted the girl with an intention to marry her. He was arrested three days after the missing report of the girl was lodged with South Campus police station in Saket.

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