Alleged rapist of minor acquitted as victim 'adult' under Muslim-laws
A Delhi court acquitted a man accused of raping a minor saying the victim, a Muslim, was an adult as per the religious laws, reports The Hindu. The victim was 17-and-a-half-years old when she was assaulted, she claimed. Further, terming the victim 'unreliable', the Delhi court acquitted the man who was charged under Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The victim's father Raja alias Chandu filed a complaint about his daughter, who went missing when she was 17 years and five months old, in 2013. He alleged kidnapping by the accused who lived in the same locality. Days later, the victim along with the accused recorded her statement at the Amar Vihar police station in North-West Delhi, saying she married him willingly.
In April 2014, almost four months after saying she willingly married the accused, the victim lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him. She called the wedding photos that she had produced earlier a farce. The victim said she was forcefully taken to Jammu, held captive and raped. The accused said he was being falsely implicated because he belonged to a different religion.
"The accused kept me there for three days and raped me (mein roti chilati rahi). I was in pain at that time. I requested accused and his aunt to take me back to my parental home but they threatened to kill me," she reportedly said.
Additional Sessions Judge Amit Kumar observed it was impossible the 'kidnapped' girl didn't raise alarm during her journey from Delhi to Jammu and vice versa. He also noted there was "no history of sexual harassment or physical assault or drug intoxication or alcohol consumption." The court added the victim did not take any steps to declare her marriage void, and she was unreliable.
"Though she was minor, she had attained an age of discretion. It cannot be ignored that victim is Muslim and as per Muslim law she attained the age of puberty at age of 14 years and got married after attaining the age of puberty," said Judge Kumar.