Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta was hearing the bail plea of a 27-year-old man who was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually exploiting a minor girl but later marrying her.
As per the case, the minor girl’s mother had complained that some unknown person had kidnapped her 15-year-old daughter, who was reportedly missing since July 9, 2019. Subsequently, a Habeas Corpus application was filed and the investigation was transferred to the Crime Branch. The accused man during course of investigation misled the investigating agency by suppressing the whereabouts of the victim, as per the FIR.
Finally, on the basis of mobile technical surveillance, the victim was eventually recovered on October 5, 2021, along with her 8-month-old female child from the house of the accused and she was also about one and half months pregnant by that time.
As per the order, the petitioner lured the victim and allegedly married her in a temple at Delhi.
Counsel for the accused submitted that he is in custody October 6, 2021 and the relation between the parties was voluntary. He also argued that the petitioner is required to look after the victim and her children.
In the order, the court noted that a girl child faces several adverse challenges if she is married below 18 years of age noting that the victim was studying in Class 9 and was 14 years and six months at the time of abduction.
“…Also, Section 375 defines ‘rape’ and it provides that a man is said to commit ‘rape’ if he has sexual intercourse with a woman under the circumstances falling under any of the seven descriptions mentioned in the Section. Clause six of Section 375 makes it clear that if the woman is under the age of 18 years, then sexual intercourse with her, with or without consent is ‘rape’..” the court held.
Accordingly, the bail application was dismissed.