Minor girl eloping with boy
What will happen if a girl 17 years of age eloped with a boy Nd after returning home her father files complaint against boy and girl gives wrong statement (in family pressure or whatever) that she was forced by boy to elope and he threatened me and all that... Is there any possiblity that boy can be saved as he has not forced her and the girl also eloped voluntarily...
The complaint that can be filed against the boy will be of kidnapping (S. 361, 366, The Indian Penal Code, 1860.) There are certain criteria which needs to be met to fulfil the charges of kidnapping. Firstly, the girl should be minor. Minor in this case, refers to a girl below the age of 18 years (S. 361, The Indian Penal Code, 1860.
). Secondly she should be enticed or taken away from the custody of her legal guardian and thirdly without the consent of the legal guardian.
As all the above mentioned conditions are fulfilled, this can rightfully qualify as kidnapping case. However, there is a significant point to be considered before giving up all hope. The Supreme Court (S. Varadarajan v. State of Madras, 1965 SCR(1) 243.) had a made a distinction between ‘taking away’ and ‘allowing a minor to accompany’. The benefits of such distinction are made to solely to address such issues where the accused party is not at fault. In that case, the Court held that if a person is matured enough and capable of knowing what he/she is doing and gives voluntary consent, then the accused party cannot be held at fault. The intentions of the parties also needs to be given due consideration. The Delhi High Court (Sunil Kumar v. State of NCT Delhi, I (2007) DMC 786.) in one of it’s judgment held that, “If a girl of around 17 years runs away from her parents’ house to save herself from their onslaught and joins her lover or runs away with him, it is no offence either on the part of the girl or on the part of the boy.”
An analogy can be drawn at this point. After the Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi, amendment was made in the Juvenile Justice Act which reduced the minor age from 18 to 16. This goes to show that a person of 16 years of age is matured and capable enough to understand what he/she is doing. Therefore, the chances of acquittal is much higher in the Court’s judgment.
The fact that the girl is now giving false statement can only be challenged in the court of law. The truth can only be brought to light after proper investigation by the police and if not by them, then the Court. In the mean time, the accused can approach the High Court of the competent jurisdiction to quash the FIR by using it’s inherent power (S. 482, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.) Since kidnapping is a bailable offence, (Schedule 1, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
) the accused if put behind the bars, can file for anticipatory bail (S. 438, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.)
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