A 23-year-old married man has been sentenced by a Sessions court in Delhi to three years’ imprisonment for deceiving a 16-year-old girl with a false promise of marriage to ensure that she eloped with him. The testimonies of the girl and his wife in court helped nail the man for the offence of cheating.

The convict, Sanjay Singh, had taken the girl to Meerut and Baghpat on October 2011 but when she asked to be taken back to Delhi, he forcibly detained her for a few days until he came to know that the police had come searching for him at his house in Burari. Sanjay was in love with the minor girl for nearly three years. In between he got married to another woman who is now 19 years old. Though he consummated his relations with his wife, he attempted to revive his relations with the victim after a few months by falsely claiming that he had no relations with his wife and they both wanted to divorce each other. Though he was also accused of raping the minor, the court acquitted him of the offence.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “What the convict has done is morally unpardonable and legally punishable. Emotional exploitation and treachery in human relations is not tolerated in any civilised society and is punishable under our legal system…. Taking advantage of the tender and vulnerable age of the prosecutrix ‘M’ and her immature understanding and by emotionally and psychologically exploiting her feelings, he again allured and enticed her to accompany him on promise of marriage, claiming that his family particularly his mother was agreeable to his marriage with the prosecutrix (knowing the same to be false).”

Noting that there were many discrepancies in the charge sheet and the statements of the victim in court, the judge summoned his wife to court as a witness after which both the wife and the minor girl realised the trickery played upon them by the convict.

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