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Cannot approve minors entering into physical relationship, getting married
Suraj Vs State of UP
CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION No. - 3511 of 2022
About/from the judgment:
The High Court expressed its displeasure at minors getting married, stating that 15-16 years is not the age for young people to enter into physical relationship and get married.
The Court made the observation while hearing a bail application of a person charged for sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).
It was brought to the Court's notice that the physical relationship between the accused and the survivor was consensual, that they had gotten married and also had a son.
"At the very outset, I am pained to notice this fact that a children of tender age who have not attained the age of majority are indulging in such type of relations which may not be said to be a proper relation," the judge said.
The Court also stressed that when a certain age for marriage was prescribed by the statute, any act committed prior to such age could not be approved.
"When a certain age has been prescribed by the statute to get married and live accordingly, any such act which has been committed prior to such age can not be approved. The age of 15-16 years or below 18 years is not the age where any young couple should enter into the institution of marriage," the Court observed.
The complaint was made by the father of a minor girl, but the girl herself did not corroborate the prosecution's story.
In her statement, she submitted that she was willingly living with the applicant, they had married without informing their families, and she had subsequently been blessed with a son. She also clarified that she did not wish to return to her parents.
The State counsel opposed the application stating that the girl was about 15 years old at the time of the incident, and a minor's consent was meaningless in the eyes of law.
However, taking into account the peculiar facts of the case, the Court allowed the bail application reasoning that if the applicant was not released from jail, there was a possibility that his minor wife and son may not be taken care of properly.
"Therefore, considering the larger interest of the child and mother who should have been taken care of by the present applicant, the bail of the present applicant is being considered," the Court said.
It was made abundantly clear by the Court that the application was being allowed only on the facts of the case and thus, the order may not be cited as precedent anywhere.
Read the Judgment
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