Mumbai crime watch: 10-yr jail for youth who eloped and married 17-year-old niece

Mumbai: A special court here on Monday convicted a 23-year-old youth who had eloped with his 17-year-old niece in 2016 in a case of kidnapping and rape filed against him by the girl’s father.

The girl who was in Class 12 and a month short of turning seventeen years at the time of the incident, had deposed in court that she had not been kidnapped and that she had consensual sexual relations with the youth. She said that she had asked him to take her to Pune where she wanted to settle down with him and they had done so.

In his statement before the court, the youth had not denied that he had gone to Pune with the girl and that they had sexual relations. He had further told court that the girl’s family disliked him and had falsely implicated him.

Special Judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Bharti Kale said in her judgement that the victim was below 18 years at the time and was disturbed when she left the house. The accused, who is her maternal uncle, instead of counselling her and talking with her parents, eloped with her. Therefore, it can be very well held that he had kidnapped her, the court said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on the youth and directed that of the amount, Rs 15,000 be paid as compensation to the victim.

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