A man has been sentenced to seven years in jail for raping a minor by a Delhi court which refused to take a lenient view towards him merely on the ground that he later got married to the girl.
Additional sessions judge Kaveri Baweja held the Delhi resident guilty of raping saying though the physical relations between them were "consensual" but the consent of girl, who was 14 years old at the time of the incident in 2007, was "immaterial" as she was a minor.
"... I find that it has been duly established on record that date of birth of the girl is April 10, 1993. Accordingly, on April 18, 2007 when the accused established physical relations with her, though consensual, it amounts to commission of 'rape' within the meaning of Section 376 of the IPC, the consent of minor girl being immaterial.
"In the light of the aforesaid, the accused is convicted for offence under Section 376 IPC," the judge said.
The judge turning down the man's plea for leniency said, "I find no ground to take a lenient view in this case merely on the ground of marriage between the convict and the girl. Accordingly, the convict is directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of seven years in addition to payment of fine of Rs. 5,000." The court, however, acquitted the man of the charges of forcibly aborting the girl's foetus, criminally intimidating her and using words intended to insult her modesty.
According to the prosecution, the case was registered in April last year on the complaint of the girl alleging that the man has been raping her since April 18, 2007 due to which she had become pregnant twice and had been threatening to upload her pictures on Internet, if she disclosed his acts to anyone.
She had told the police that she had met the man in 2006 and after a few days he proposed marriage and in April 2007, he forcibly established physical relations with her. The man continued to rape her by threatening to upload her pictures on the internet, she had said.
She alleged that the man had forced her to abort her child by giving her some medicines. She made a complaint at Hauz Qazi Police Station in New Delhi when in April 2013, the man and his uncle again threatened her.
The girl, however, turned hostile and changed her statement before the court saying that the sexual relations between her and the man were with her consent and he had never threatened to upload her pictures in the internet.
The girl, who got married to the man in September 2013, said she had lodged the complaint against him as he was not marrying her earlier.
During the trial, the man claimed he was not aware of the age of the girl and he could not marry her earlier due to some problem and physical relations between them were consensual.