Consent of minor ‘no consent’, Delhi HC tells man accused of raping 16-year-old girl

The court also took note of the fact that the accused got the girl’s year of birth changed in her Aadhaar

Updated - December 05, 2022 01:54 am IST

Published - December 05, 2022 01:53 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Rejecting the bail plea of a man who was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl, the Delhi High Court recently observed that the “consent of a minor is no consent in the eyes of law”.

The court also took note of the fact that the accused — who was 23 years old and already married to another woman at the time of the offence — took the girl to the office of the Regional Sub-Divisional Magistrate and got her year of birth changed in her Aadhaar from 2002 to 2000.

“The conduct of the applicant [the accused] of getting the date of birth changed in the Aadhaar card of the complainant [minor girl] is a serious offence. It seems that the applicant wanted to take advantage by getting the Date of Birth on the Aadhaar card changed so that when the applicant established physical relationship with the complainant, she was not a minor,” Justice Jasmeet Singh remarked.

According to the FIR, the father of the minor — who was then 16 years old — had filed a complaint with Delhi Police that she had gone missing on June 10, 2019.

The police said they soon found her in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district and rescued her from the company of the accused, who was later charged under Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

In his bail plea, the accused claimed that the girl had said in a statement that he was her “boyfriend” and she had stayed with him for about a month and a half. She also said that she had physical relations with him with her consent, said the plea.

The counsel for the accused argued that he must be granted bail as he has been in custody since 2019 and the chargesheet has already been filed in the case.

However, the court rejected the bail plea, noting that the girl was “merely 16 years from the date of incident”.

“The consent of the minor at the age of 16 years, specially, when the applicant was 23 years old and already married also disentitles the applicant for grant of bail. Consent of a minor is no consent in the eyes of law,” it noted.

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