New Delhi: A man has been acquitted by a Delhi court of the charges of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl after she claimed that she willingly eloped with him to get married.
Additional Sessions Judge Gulshan Kumar absolved the man of charges of kidnapping and rape and provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act while relying on the girl's statement that her parents lodged a false case as they were against their relationship.
"The girl is the star witness and has not supported the prosecution case by deposing that she got married to accused at her own consent. Her parents had lodged the present case...She deposed that she wants to live with her husband," the court said.
It observed that there was no word in the girl's deposition from which it could be inferred that she had left the house of her father at the instance or suggestion of the accused.
"She had constantly stated before the court as well as in her statement to magistrate that she had gone with the accused willingly and got married to him, which, by no stretch of imagination could be said to be the accused having taken her out of the keeping of lawful guardianship.
"In view of above discussion, I am of the considered view that prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly, accused is acquitted of offences under sections 363 (kidnap), 376 (rape) of IPC and section 4 (sexual assault) of POCSO Act," the judge said.
According to prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the girl's parents on May 9, 2014 alleging that she was kidnapped and raped by the accused.
The girl, however, did not support the case and claimed that she eloped with him willingly and had a court marriage.
The parents of the girl claimed that she was a minor but had no documents to prove the same. The girl on the other hand claimed to be a major.
During the trial, the accused denied all the allegations and claimed that he had married the girl after getting her ossification test done which determined her age to be above 18 years.