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‘Not at fault’ man convicted for kidnapping by court

A bus driver has been held guilty of kidnapping a minor, with whom he claimed to have eloped, by a Delhi court which said though the man was ‘not at fault’, the girl’s age made his actions punishable under law.

The court, which came to the conclusion that his action was a ‘culpable one’ even if it was a case of love and elopement, said the girl’s willingness to run away with him did not protect him from punishment under law and such cases were frequently coming before the courts.

It said while in some cases parents of the girl ‘do not keep control on the activities of their daughter’, in others on account of ‘Bollywood movies running on the home television uninterruptedly, cupid strikes the minor girls before they attain majority’.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat sentenced Uttarakhand native Bhagwati Prasad, who was arrested on 20 July 2010, to period of imprisonment already spent in jail by him during the trial of the case, and imposed Rs 1,000 fine on him but said it does not have any material to justify his conviction. ‘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,’ he said.

The 13-and-half-year-old girl used to travel in the bus driven by him to go to school and fell in love with him. Prasad was accused of taking away the minor from Delhi to Mehndipur Balaji in Rajasthan in 2010 by luring her.

The court 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.
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