New Delhi: To curb the menace of elopement and runaway marriages, parents should impart moral education in their children instead of filing false rape cases, a Delhi court has observed while acquitting a youth of the charges of kidnapping and raping his lover.
The court said that the youth, a Bihar native, had been "very unfortunate" to have faced the arrest and trial in this case when he had not resorted to any criminal activity and his acquittal was the only decision which it could order.
"In today`s scenario, where mobile phones, internet, cable TV etc. have made inroads in our households, parents shoulder a great responsibility in imparting moral values and education to their children so that they are able to abide by good moral standards and differentiate between what is good, bad and attractive.
"They have to be told and taught that what is attractive is not always good and what is good only has to be adhered to in all respects. Filing of false rape charges would certainly not curb the menace of elopement and runaway marriages. Imparting good moral education and keeping a proper check or vigil on the activities of children in their adolescent age would do," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said.
The court`s observations came while acquitting the youth, who was accused of kidnapping and raping the minor girl with whom he was in love and had married her.
The girl`s mother had lodged a complaint in March 2010 that her 13-year-old daughter was missing. Later on, when the girl was recovered, she told the police that her age was between 17-18 years and she had gone with the accused to Bihar on her own will.
The couple had married in Bihar and she was also pregnant when she was found. On the complaint of girl`s parents, a kidnapping and rape case was registered against the youth.
The girl had told the court that her family was against their relationship and marriage as they belonged to different religions and this prompted them to elope.
While acquitting the youth, the court said this case was another classic example where the accused had to be arrested and tried for kidnap and rape of the girl with whom he was in love, only because her mother wanted his prosecution.
It said the girl, in her initial statements, had said that she voluntarily accompanied the boy as she loved him, married him and they maintained physical relations.
But later on, she had to bow down to the pressure of her mother by giving a supplementary statement to the police alleging that she was kidnapped and raped by the accused after which he was chargesheeted, it said.
The court in its earlier judgement in a rape case had also observed it is a very disturbing trend that so many false cases were being lodged and deserved attention of the legislature as well as the judiciary.
"These type of false rape cases form a sizable chunk of rape cases pending in the courts, consume valuable time of the courts, thereby becoming a big reason for delay in disposal of genuine rape cases. The plight and helplessness of parents, who find that their loved daughter has eloped with the boy she loves, despite their resentment, is undoubtedly understandable.
"...But slapping rape charges upon that boy, who is only as guilty as the girl herself, cannot be countenanced. This practice resorted to by the parents needs to be deprecated and discouraged. They should, instead of filing false rape cases, deal with the situation in a dignified and responsible manner, keeping in mind the interests and betterment of both, the girl as well as boy," the court said.
It added that the parents should either groom their children with utmost care, guide them properly so that they can distinguish between good, bad and attractive and inculcate good moral values in them.
"...So that the unpleasant situations, like the one, which happen in cases liked the present one, are avoided or they should later on accept the reality when the girl elopes with the boy she loves and should not pressurise her to level false rape charges against him," the court said.