New Delhi: A 20-year-old youth has been sent to jail for seven years for kidnapping and raping his minor neighbour by a Delhi court which said he had misguided the girl.
The court rejected the claim of Bihar native Rajesh that the girl was in love with him and she had maintained physical relations with him on her own accord, saying the victim`s consent was "immaterial" as she was then 12-and-a-half-years -old.
"Convict (Rajesh) misguided the prosecutrix, a girl of just 12 years of age, and took her from the lawful guardianship of her parents without their consent and then committed sexual intercourse with her.
"The consent of the prosecutrix is immaterial when she is below 16 years of age in a case of rape and below 18 years in a case of kidnapping," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar said.
Apart from seven years jail, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 on Rajesh.
The court convicted Rajesh after relying on the testimony of the girl which had stated that the accused had taken her for an outing on the pretext that he would give her good food and will take her to various places. He took her to a temple in Noida and proposed her marriage and on her refusal, Rajesh took her to a house and raped her for two days, she said.
The court observed that in a rape case, "testimony of the girl is most important being the only eye witness in most of the cases".
The judge said the girl`s statement has to be given utmost sanctity and if court finds it cogent and trustworthy, no corroboration is required.
According to the prosecution, on November 7, last year, when the girl`s parents had gone to work and she was alone in her house, Rajesh who was a neighbour, asked her to accompany her for an outing.
Rajesh took her to Noida, saying that he would give her good food and proposed to her in a temple and when she refused to marry, he took her to a house and forcibly maintained physical relations with her for two days, it said.
The police said when the girl insisted that she wanted to go home, he sent her to her house with someone else.
Initially a kidnapping was lodged against Rajesh by her parents but later on, rape charges were also slapped on him.
The court said Rajesh did not dispute the fact that he took away the girl and established physical relations with her even though he had claimed that it was consensual.