New Delhi: A youth, who married a
14-year-old girl after eloping with her, has been sentenced to
a year in jail by a Delhi court for raping her as she was a
minor at the time.
While holding 21-year-old Bihar native Saggo Mehto
guilty of raping his wife, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod
Kumar Goyal, however, acquitted him of kidnapping charges on
her deposition that she had eloped with him on her own sweet
will and had not been forced to do so.
"From the deposition of the girl, it is clear that she
married the accused voluntarily without any pressure from any
side and they consummated the marriage, but as she was aged
about 14 years and four months at the time of incident, so
according to the section 375 (rape) of IPC, her consent is not
material as she was under 16 years of age at that time," the
Showing leniency to the convict, the court sentenced
him to a year in jail, and set it off against his imprisonment
from March 24, 2010 to April 4, 2011 during the trial. The
court also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 on him.
According to prosecution, the girl was missing from her
house in Swaroop Nagar since March 15, 2010. She was recovered
from Mehto`s house on March 24, 2010 and he was then arrested.
Mehto told the court that the girl had asked her to
meet at the New Delhi Railway Station and they would marry on
`Ram Navmi` as it was considered an auspicious day. The couple
then got married in Bihar and started living together.