New Delhi: A youth, who established physical relations with a minor girl and married her during the trial of the case, has been sentenced to seven years in jail by a Delhi court for rape.
Additional Sessions Judge Raghubir Singh held the 22-year-old guilty of raping the 15-year-old girl, who is now his wife, saying she was not old enough to give valid consent for consensual relationship.
The court, however, acquitted him of the charge of kidnapping the minor. “No doubt, the physical relations were established with the consent of the victim yet the age of the victim at the relevant time was not such so as to give any valid consent for any consensual relationship. She was merely 15 years of age at that time,” the court said.
The youth was convicted for the offences under Section 4 (penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act and section 376 of the IPC and the court awarded the jail term only under the POCSO Act.
The convict sought leniency saying he got married to the girl during the trial of the case and as she is pregnant now, she needs her husband’s company for her proper care.
The prosecutor, however, argued that the youth does not deserve any leniency as the offences committed by him were not only against the victim and her family but were also heinous offences against the State and the society.
According to the prosecution, a missing complaint of the minor girl was lodged by her father in September 2013, and after some days she was rescued by the police from Bihar and was brought to Delhi.
The girl, in her testimony before the court, said she knew the youth from past two years and when her father came to know about their love affair, they went to Bihar. She added that the youth established physical relations with her with her consent.
During the trial, the youth also denied the allegations levelled against him.