The country’s legal system is “unfair” to youngsters in love, a Delhi court has observed while acquitting a youth of charges of kidnapping and forcing a girl, who was four months away from attaining majority, to marry him, after she admitted to have acted of her own accord. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau expressed anguish that a man is punished for falling in love with a girl who was on the verge of attaining majority, is kept in jail with hardened criminals and accused of crimes like rape and dacoity.

“This happens only because the existing statutory laws of our country do not provide for any ‘Window Period’ in case of elopement of youngsters (where the girl is a minor) where there is a non-exploitative situation,” the court said. Exceptions and allowances have to be made while considering the age of consent keeping in view changing social sensibilities and other factors, it added.

The court acquitted a Sagarpur resident of the charges of kidnapping a girl who was 17 years and eight months old and compelling her to marry him saying it has been established that the girl of her own will had gone to the house of the youth. “Our legal system is most unfair to the youngsters in love and it is ironical indeed that the statutory laws in our country are without any just exception and criminalise innocent love. A hardened criminal involved in serious crimes such as rape, man-slaughtering and dacoity etc. is treated at par with the one who is punished for falling in love with a woman at the verge of attaining majority,” the court said. The case dates back to November 2011 when the girl’s father had lodged a case that his minor daughter had been kidnapped.

-- PTI