The Delhi High Court on Thursday acquitted an 18-year-old young man in a kidnapping-cum-rape case, saying that the girl was mature and had gone with him on her own.

A trial court here had sentenced the youth, Kulwant Singh, to seven years' rigorous imprisonment, holding him guilty of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and having physical relationship with her.

However, Justice S.N. Dhingra set aside the lower court judgment saying that the trial judge had arbitrarily declared the prosecutrix a minor believing the statement of her mother that she was 14 years old at the time of the incident.

The girl had eloped with the boy to Punjab. They remained there for a few months. They had later shifted to Delhi. The Delhi Police had arrested the couple when they were walking together on the city road on a complaint of her mother.

In her statement recorded before a Metropolitan Magistrate under 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the girl had denied the charge of her mother that Kulwant had kidnapped her daughter.

However, she changed her statement during the trial saying that she had been kidnapped by Kulwant when she fell unconscious after having a cup of tea which was drugged by him.

The Court pulled up the Delhi Police for cooking up the story and asking the prosecutrix to narrate it before the trial court.

However, Justice Dhingra dismissed her allegations against the convict saying that the statement of witnesses and documents brought on record proved she had gone with the boy of her own free will.

As regards the age of the prosecutrix, the Court believed the radiological test conducted on her which declared her 16 to 17 years old at the time of the incident.

Allowing the appeal of Kulwant, Justice Dhingra acquitted him in the case saying that the girl was mature and had gone with the boy on her own .

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