While holding 21-year-old Bihar native Saggo Mehto guilty of raping his wife, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar Goyal, however, acquitted him of kidnapping charges on her deposition that she had eloped with him on her own sweet will and had not been forced to do so.
"From the deposition of the girl, it is clear that she married the accused voluntarily without any pressure from any side and they consummated the marriage, but as she was aged about 14 years and four months at the time of incident, so according to the section 375 (rape) of IPC, her consent is not material as she was under 16 years of age at that time," the court said.
Showing leniency to the convict, the court sentenced him to a year in jail, and set it off against his imprisonment from March 24, 2010 to April 4, 2011 during the trial. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 on him.
According to prosecution, the girl was missing from her house in Swaroop Nagar since March 15, 2010. She was recovered from Mehto's house on March 24, 2010 and he was then arrested. Mehto told the court that the girl had asked her to meet at the New Delhi Railway Station and they would marry on 'Ram Navmi' as it was considered an auspicious day.
The couple then got married in Bihar and started living together.