A headmaster was sentenced to four years imprisonment for kidnapping a minor girl studying in his school.

The incident happened in October 2004, when Jacob Mathews, 35, working in a private school in Kuppam, forced an SSC student to marry him. The accused and his wife Reeba Mathews, also working as a teacher in the same school, sent a student Arul Raj to bring the girl to the lodge in which they were staying. The couple forcibly took her away in a car to Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) and from there to another undisclosed location in Kerala, from where the duo hails.

The girl declined the proposal to marry Jacob Mathews even after the couple detained her in vain for a month. Finally, they brought her to Krishnagiri bus station, located just across the inter-State border, where the accused was tracked down by the Kuppam police. The victim was handed over to her parents through a court order. V.V. Giridhar, the then Sub-Inspector of Kuppam investigated the case and filed charge-sheet against the three under Section 366(A) of the IPC (inducing minor girl and abducting her with the intention of marrying). While Arul Raj was acquitted for his insignificant role, a non-bailable warrant was issued against the couple, named as the first two accused.

In execution of the NBW against A1, the police arrested Jacob in March 2013, while Reeba continues to be at large. Additional Assistant Sessions Judge Velpula Krishnamurthy, while delivering the verdict in Chittoor on Monday, sentenced him to undergo four years imprisonment and also slapped Rs.500 as fine.