A Delhi court has sentenced a 20-year-old youth who eloped with a minor girl in March last year, to four month imprisonment which he has already served in jail observing that it was sufficient to meet the ends of justice in the case.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan said that though the girl had eloped with the accused with her own free will, there is sufficient evidence to establish that he took away the prosecutrix, a girl less than 16 years of age, from the lawful guardianship of her parents.
“In view of the fact that the accused has voluntarily pleaded guilty and there is sufficient evidence against him to establish that he took away the prosecutrix, a girl less than 16 years of age from the lawful guardianship of her parents, the accused stands convicted for the offence punishable under section 363 (kidnapping) of IPC,” the court said.
It observed that the boy has remained in custody for more than four months and said that the court is of the view that period of detention of the accused after his arrest is sufficient to meet the “ends of justice”.
“Keeping in view of the age of convict and his future prospects, this is a sufficient period of time for him against offences punishable under section 363 (kidnapping) of IPC. Accordingly, convict Sonu Kumar is sentenced to period already undergone and to pay fine of Rs 3000,” the court said.
It, however, acquitted the youth of the charges of raping the girl after the witnesses did not support the allegations.
“The allegations that the accused established physical relationship with the prosecutrix does not find support from the testimony of prosecutrix (girl)… There is no other forensic evidence collected to establish any sexual act committed by the accused with the prosecutrix,” it said.
According to the prosecution, on March 26, 2014, the accused was arrested on the basis of a complaint lodged by the girl’s father alleging kidnapping and rape of his daughter.
The youth was chargesheeted for the offence punishable under section 363 (kidnapping) and 376 (rape) of IPC and section of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.