Staff Reporter

For allegedly marrying a minor girl by way of allurements

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against a young man for allegedly marrying a minor girl by way of allurements, saying that "it is a fit case for quashing the proceedings''.

Allowing petitions by Rahamate Azam and his wife Rukhsana, Justice A.K. Sikri said: "In the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioners cannot be denied the relief prayed for, and it would be a fit case to quash the proceedings.''

"This course of action is in the interest of not only Rahamate Azam but also Rukhsana and her child. The prosecution was launched on the allegation that Rukhsana was the victim of the crime, but if her husband is prosecuted and convicted, again it would be Rukhsana who will become the victim in that eventually'', Mr. Justice Sikri said.

The Mangolpuri police in North-West Delhi had launched the prosecution against Rahamate Azam on a complaint by the father of Rukhsana that his minor daughter had been enticed away by Rahamate Azam.

However, the trial court had declared Rahamate Azam a proclaimed offender when the police informed it that he was untraceable.

Later, Rahamate Azam filed a petition in the High Court seeking quashing of the proceedings against him.

His wife later joined him in the Court by filing a separate petition.

The couple argued that that they had married of their own accord and the marriage was solemnised in Patna in May 2005. They further submitted that they had been living together happily as husband and wife with a male child.

In the charge sheet against Rahamate Azam, the police had stated that Rukhsana was 16 years and six months of age when she had eloped with the accused and so she was a minor and not mature enough to choose her husband.

However, the High Court discounted the argument of the girl being a minor at the time of the commission of the crime, holdingthat only because of this the youth could not be allowed to be prosecuted.