A man, who had married a minor after eloping with her and had a child with her, has been acquitted of rape charges by a Delhi court on the ground that having physical relations with one's minor wife whose age is over 15-year-old is not rape.
The court said the girl, who was less than 16 years of age at the time of the incident, had eloped with the man on her own and citing a Delhi high court judgement, it added that if the minor does not seek annulment of her marriage, it would remain valid.
The court, however, held Uttar Pradesh resident Pradeep Maurya guilty of kidnapping as the girl was minor when they had ran away and sentenced him to jail term already undergone by him during trial.
Maurya had been put on trial on charges of kidnapping a minor girl, marrying her and having a child from her after subjecting her to sexual intercourse against her wishes.
The court acquitted Maurya of the charges of forcing her to marry him and raping her saying that it has no material on record to justify his conviction on this count.