Boys don’t realise they commit criminal offence by running away with a minor girl, observes court

While freeing a young man who fell in love with a minor girl and eloped with her to Rajasthan by sentencing him to the period he already spent in judicial custody and a fine of Rs.1,000, a Sessions court here has observed that several such cases where minor girls willingly accompany their boyfriends were reaching the courts now. The court also noted that the boys did not realise they were committing a criminal offence (kidnapping) by running away with a minor girl.

Though the girl implicated Karan, a bus driver by profession, accusing him of threatening to harm her brother if she attempted to escape, she had no answers to why she stuck with him despite several opportunities to flee or seek help. While concluding that the couple were in love and that the girl had willingly accompanied Karan to Rajasthan, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat also noticed several instances that questioned the credibility of the girl’s testimony.

The couple eloped on July 18, 2010, but Karan surrendered on July 20 at a Rajasthan police station after hearing that his brother had been detained.

“The manner in which the prosecutrix willingly accompanied accused to Rajasthan, makes one to think what kind of wrong has been committed by the accused. Ex facie it appears that the convict (Karan) is not at fault at all but the nuances and the technicalities of the law enshrined in Section 361 of the IPC, make his action a culpable one. The age of the prosecutrix, as noticed herein above, is the only factor which inculpates the convict in the present case,” ASJ Mr. Bhat said.

“Cases like the present one, where minor girls willingly and without any threat or inducement, accompany their boyfriends to explore and experience the hidden treasures of love life or man-woman relationship, are frequently coming before the courts these days. In some cases, like the present one, the parents of the girl do not keep control on the activities of their daughter and a minor, if left uncontrolled, is set to tread towards attractive but not good pastures. In yet other cases, on account of Bollywood movies running on the home television uninterruptedly, cupid strikes the minor girl before she attains majority and she willingly starts a love affair with a trusted neighbourhood boy, which then culminates in her elopement with that boy,” Mr. Bhat said in his order.

The Judge said that in all such cases, the boy found it difficult to resist the advances of the girl and a relationship starts.

“As is said that love is blind, the loving partners do not care for the religion, faith, features or the age of each other. Expectedly it does not come to the mind of the boys that they are committing a criminal offence by running away with a minor. Ultimately, boys land in trouble and have to face prosecution in a court of law. However, this court can hardly do anything except making aforesaid observations. The law, as it stands, has to be followed strictly. The convict has to be sentenced, for the law provides it.”

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