NEW DELHI: A husband cannot be held guilty of establishing physical relations with his wife, a Delhi court has said while acquitting a man charged with alleged kidnap and rape of a minor girl.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan acquitted the man, a resident of Jahangirpuri in north Delhi, noting that the prosecution failed to prove the charges against him.
"Accused, being the legally wedded husband of the girl, cannot be held guilty of establishing physical relations with his wife which as per the deposition of the prosecutrix are consensual," the judge said.
The court observed that the victim categorically stated that she went away with him voluntarily.
"In view of the material on record, it appears that prosecutrix was willing and consenting party and it seems that everything has happened with her will," it said.
According to the prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the alleged victim's mother claiming that her 14-year-old daughter was kidnapped by the accused on July 15, 2014.
The girl, who was missing for almost a year, was produced at the police station a year later by her mother and the accused was arrested for the alleged offences of rape and kidnapping under IPC besides the offence of aggravated sexual assault under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The girl, however, informed the court that she was a major and eloped with the man as she was in love with him.
The court also noted that the girl had even provided an affidavit to support her claims.
"Stand of the prosecution that the prosecutrix was a minor is not established by the documents relied upon by them," the judge said.
During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed innocence.
The judge, while acquitting him, observed that there was no evidence on record that the girl was enticed by him in any manner to go with him.