A youth has been acquitted by a Delhi court of the charges of kidnapping and raping his cousin, with whom he got married, noting that she was voluntarily staying with him as his wife and was a "consenting" party to the sexual relations.
"I find that there is overwhelming credible evidence on record to suggest that the girl had accompanied the accused on her own will, was staying voluntarily with him as his wife at various places including Lucknow and was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse with him," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said, while acquitting the youth, a resident of Uttar Pradesh.
The court also freed the youth's sister and her husband of the charges under Sections 344 (wrongfully confining for three or more days), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
The court, in its verdict, also noted that there was lack of credible and clinching evidence to suggest that the girl had been forced to accompany the youth to subject her to sexual lust or to marry him.
According to the police, the girl was kidnapped by her cousin on December 9, 2010 from her house in Delhi, where she was staying with her brothers, and took her to his native village in Lucknow.
"Thereafter, the youth, with the help of his sister and her husband, forcefully married her and repeatedly raped her," the prosecution said.
The girl was located in Lucknow by her brother and police was informed. She was then brought back to Delhi.
The court held that the conduct of the girl, during her stay with the youth, indicated that she was living with him voluntarily and without any force or threat.
"The testimony of the girl when read in conjunction with ..., demonstrates that she was willing for the marriage with the youth and had voluntarily accompanied him to the office of registrar at Hardoi and had voluntarily signed the documents," it said.
The youth, however, claimed during the trial that the girl was in love with him and she accompanied him voluntarily to his native village where they got married and she had maintained physical relations voluntarily.