NEW DELHI: Stating that “the victim is a Muslim and as per the Muslim law she attained the age of puberty [adulthood] at the age of 14,” a Delhi court acquitted an individual in 2013 rape and sexual assault case.
Additional Sessions Judge Amit Kumar while dismissing the case said, “Though she was a minor, she had attained the age of discretion. It cannot be ignored that the victim is a Muslim and as per the Muslim law she attained the age of puberty at the age of 14 years, and got married after attaining the age of puberty.”
The victim was aged 17 years and five months when she was assaulted by the accused Raja alias Chandu, a resident of the same locality.
According to The Hindu reports, there were two complaints filed. The victims went against the first complaint lodged by the her father on November 29, 2013.
The victim along with the accused came to the police and informed the investigating officer that she had gone to Jammu willingly and married the accused.
Later in April 21, 2014, the victim complained that the accused had sexually assaulted her.
“The accused kept me there for three days and raped me (mein roti chilati rahi). I was in pain at that time,” said the victim in her statement, reported News 18.
Since the the victim was below 18 years, Section 366 of IPC was slapped and the accused was arrested.
The accused in his statement said, “he was falsely implicated in this case at the instance of the parents of the victim because of different religion and no such incident ever took place”.
The judge also declared the victim an unreliable witness.
“Further, the victim in her statement given under Section 164 CrPC as well as during her counselling before the Crime Against Women Cell never made any allegations regarding kidnapping, sexual, assault and alleged unconsciousness. She made these allegations after more than four months in April, 2014 and there seems to be considerable improvement which makes her an unreliable witness,” the judge said.
The judge noted that “The victim admittedly did not raise any alarm in the entire journey from Delhi to Jammu and from Jammu to Delhi which shows that she went to Jammu of her own with the accused and was neither forced nor enticed nor she was made unconscious by the accused.”
The judge further pointed out that there was “no history of sexual harassment or physical assault or drug intoxication or alcohol consumption”, and that she “came back on her own on 06.12.2013,” proved that “she was not sexually assaulted and got married to the accused willingly on 29.11.2013”.
Judge Kumar acquitting the accused said, “There is no medical evidence to corroborate her unreliable testimony that she was sexually assaulted. Otherwise also, a marriage of a minor is not void ab initio but is voidable at the instance of the victim. The victim never took any steps to declare her marriage void.”