CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Nemili police in Vellore district to book a youth who married a minor girl after elopement under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and her parents to take custody of the girl.
A division bench comprising Justices S Nagamathu and Anitha Sumanth directed the Special Court in Vellore to proceed against A Bharathy (25) under the POCSO Act.
According to her father, the 16-year-old girl who was studying XI standard in a government school in Nemili went missing on February 12 and he lodged a complaint with the local police the same day.
Claiming that there was no progress in the case, he filed a habeas corpus petition seeking to trace and produce his daughter before the court. Accordingly, the police produced her in the court on March 27. When the judges enquired her, she admitted that she eloped with Bharathy and got married in a temple in Pattabhiram the same day. She, however, expressed her desire to go back with her parents.
“From the narration of the girl, it is crystal clear that Bharathy has committed offences under POCSO Act,” the judges said. Nemili police submitted that Bharathi was secured on March 27 and six persons too were remanded to custody in this connection. The case would be appropriately altered under the POCSO Act, they said.
Recording the submissions of the girl, the bench permitted her parents to take custody of the girl, without causing any harm, either physical or mental, to her.
The father told the bench that Bharathy is a man of bad character and his antecedents require thorough investigation, following which the bench directed the Nemili police to investigate the case properly.