After a local sessions court disposed of a rape case in just eight days, another court has completed trial in an abduction case in two days, a record. The court of additional sessions judge Manjinder Singh, on Friday, sentenced 23-year-old Kuldip Kumar of Badesron village to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping a minor girl of Possi village and inducing her into marrying her.
Charges were framed against the accused on Wednesday under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (inducing a woman into marriage) and 376 (rape) of the IPC.
However, since the girl was above 16, the court dropped the rape charges, maintaining that she had willingly entered into an intimate relationship with the convict. The girl had gone missing from her house on August 12, 2012. Her father Parshottam Lal lodged a complaint against Kuldip and his parents for kidnapping her daughter. He had alleged that his daughter had taken away Rs. 20,000 in cash and four tolas of gold with her.
The police recovered the girl from Kuldip's custody on August 29, but the girl refused to go with her parents, stating that she was above 18 years and had married Kuldip. After verifying her age from her school certificate, which established that she was 17 years and one month old, the police sent her to Nari Niketan, Jalandhar.
Holding the accused guilty of taking away the minor girl from lawful guardianship of her parents without their consent, the court sentenced him to five-year imprisonment under Section 363 and seven-year under Section 366 of the IPC. Both the sentences would run concurrently.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs. 5,000 under each Section. In case of default, the convict would have to undergo imprisonment for one month. His parents were acquitted of conspiracy
The defence counsel contended that that the entire prosecution depended on sole testimony of the girl's father, who was not in favour of her marriage to the accused.
However, citing a Supreme Court judgment in Bipin Kumar vs State of Bengal, the court held that evidence had to be weighed not counted. However, it sounded a word of caution to minors.
"If minors continue to marry without the consent of their guardians, the whole structure of society would crumble," it held.