7 years in jail for man who 'raped' 15-yr-old, married her during trial

Court rules though physical relation was consensual, girl was too young to give consent

Published: 11th August 2016 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2016 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court sentenced a 22-year-old man to seven years for raping the minor girl whom he married during the trial of the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Raghubir Singh held the man guilty of raping the 15-year-old girl, who is now his wife, saying she was not old enough to give valid consent for physical relations. The court, however, acquitted him of the charge of kidnapping the minor.

“No doubt, the physical relations were established with the consent of the victim yet the age of the victim at the relevant time was not such so as to give any valid consent for any relationship. She was merely 15 years of age at that time,” the court said.

The youth was convicted for the offences under Section 4 (penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act and Section 376 of the IPC but the court awarded the jail term only for the POCSO charges. The convict sought leniency saying he got married to the girl during the trial of the case and as she is pregnant now, she needs her husband’s company for her proper care.

However, the prosecution argued that the youth didn’t deserve any leniency, saying the offences committed by him were not only against the victim and her family but were also heinous offences against the state and society.

According to the prosecution, a missing complaint about the minor girl was lodged by her father in September 2013, and after some days she was rescued by the police from Bihar and was brought to the capital.

The girl, in her testimony before the court, said she had known the youth for the past two years and when her father came to know about their love affair, they went to Bihar. She added that the youth established physical relations with her with her consent.

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