A man, who entered into a consensual marriage with an alleged minor, was given the benefit of doubt by a Delhi court as the bone-age report of the girl could not conclusively prove that she was below marriageable age.
The court gave its findings on the basis of an ossification test (bone-age test) conducted on the girl who had refused to undergo detailed medical test demanded by the prosecution to prove that she was a minor.
The bone-age report mentioned her age to be between 17 and 19 years. “The possibility of the prosecutrix (girl) being above 18 years of age on the day of incident cannot be ruled out. Hence, benefit of doubt is extended to the accused and he is acquitted of the charges under section 363/366 IPC (kidnapping),” Rakesh Tiwari, additional sessions judge said.
“In view of the law that two years variation on each side may be read in the opinion of the radiologist, the possibility of the prosecutrix being above 18 years of age on the day of the incident cannot be ruled out,” the judge further said.
The case was launched on the statement of the girl’s father, who had in his complaint on December 29, 2007 alleged that his 16-year-old daughter had gone missing and named his neighbour as a suspect.