Films, parents to be blamed for minor girls eloping: Court

A city court has blamed "Bollywood movies" and parents "who do not control the activities of their daughters" for the increase in the number of cases where minor girls elope with their boyfriends, since the girl, who has been "left uncontrolled, is set to tread towards attractive, but not good pastures."

The court's observations came while conviction a youth, who had 'eloped' with a girl below 14 years of age, of kidnapping.

Noting that the evidence showed that the girl had been in touch with the accused over the phone and that she had willingly accompanied the accused to Rajasthan, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat sentenced Bhagwati Prasad, a native Uttarakhand, to period of imprisonment already spent in jail during the trial of the case, and also imposed Rs 1,000 fine on him.

He was arrested in native who was arrested in July 20, 2010.,

"Ex facie, it appears that the convict is not at fault at all but the nuances and technicalities of the law, enshrined in provisions of the IPC, make his action a culpable one. The age of the girl (less than 14 years) is the only factor which inculpates the convict in the present case," the court said.

Prasad, who was the driver of the school bus in which the girl used to travel, was accused of luring the minor from Delhi to Mehndipur Balaji in Rajasthan in 2010.

The court however, said this was a case in which a minor girl had eloped with the boy she loved and it has been established that she had accompanied the accused on her own volition.

The Prosecution said Prasad had kidnapped the minor, a resident of Kapashera, on July 13, 2010, when she had gone to attend her tuition classes. Prasad, in his defence, claimed that he had not lured the girl but had taken her with him after she told him that she was being beaten by her parents and she would consume poison if he did not marry her.

The court acquitted Prasad from the charge of kidnap with intention of forcibly marrying the girl as she had gone with him on her own volition and he had left her at a friend's house while he stayed at a nearby dharamshala. "There is no evidence to suggest or demonstrate that the accused had kidnapped the girl with the intention to marry her," the court said.

The court noted that the accused was guilty of kidnapping since the girl was underage when she "ran away" with him. "Thus it is limpid that accused took away the minor girl without the permission of her guardian and exposed himself to conviction," the court said.

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