New Delhi: A youth accused of kidnapping a minor girl, who was months away from turning an adult, and inducing her to marry him has been acquitted by a Delhi court on the testimony of the girl that she went with him on her "own free will".
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 who was just four months away from attaining the majority age of 18 years.
"In the present case also that 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.
"She had constantly stated before the court as well as in her statement under section 164 of CrPC before Metropolitan Magistrate that she had gone with accused with her own free will, which, by no stretch of imagination could be said to be the accused having taken her out of the keeping of lawful guardianship," Additional Sessions Judge Gulshan Kumar said.
Delhi resident Akhtar Ali was freed by the court saying the prosecution has also failed to prove that accused had abducted the girl with intention to marry her or to have an illicit relationship with her.
"I am of the view that prosecution has miserably failed to prove on record that on March 16, 2012... Accused (Ali) abducted the prosecutrix, minor girl from the custody of her lawful guardians and with an intention that she may be compelled to marry against her will or with an intention to have an illicit intercourse with her.
"Accordingly, accused is acquitted of the offences under section 363/366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her for marriage) of the IPC, he was charged with," the judge said.
The girl`s parents had lodged a complaint alleging that on March 16, 2012 the accused had abducted the girl from the custody of her lawful guardians with an intention to marry her and have an illicit relation with their minor daughter.
Ali was arrested three days after the missing report of the girl was lodged with the South Campus police station in Saket area.