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Courts Should Be Cautious That Under Allegation Of Marriage, Victim Isn't Used As Shield To Escape From Offences By Accused: Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
8 Sep 2021 12:54 PM GMT
Courts Should Be Cautious That Under Allegation Of Marriage, Victim Isnt Used As Shield To Escape From Offences By Accused: Allahabad HC
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The Allahabad High Court recently cautioned Courts to see to it under the allegation of marriage with her/victim/girl is not used as a shield to escape from the offences or perpetuation of offences by the Accused."The Courts need to be cautious enough to see that under the garb of personal liberty of one, the personal liberty of the victim, is not offended or under the allegation of marriage...

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The Allahabad High Court recently cautioned Courts to see to it under the allegation of marriage with her/victim/girl is not used as a shield to escape from the offences or perpetuation of offences by the Accused.

"The Courts need to be cautious enough to see that under the garb of personal liberty of one, the personal liberty of the victim, is not offended or under the allegation of marriage with her, she is not used as a shield to escape from the offences or perpetuation of offences," the court remarked.

The Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Piyush Agrawal observed thus as it presided over a matter wherein the petitioners, firstly, abducted a girl/victim and thereafter, under coercion and threat, shown marriage with her and thereafter, also obtained protection from the High Court and thereby abused the process of law.

The Case in brief

The petitioners moved a 482 CrPC Application seeking quashing of an FIR dated 16.06.2021 lodged against them under sections 366, 376-D, 323, 342 IPC and section 3(2)(v) S.C./S.T. Act for allegedly abducting and raping a girl.

The said FIR (lodged by the victim herself) carried the statement of the victim, who categorically stated that she was abducted by the petitioners in February while she was on her way to a beauty parlor, and thereafter, they assaulted and sexually abused her and kept her at an unknown place. 

It was also stated by her, that when her brother filed a missing report before the police on February 6, 2021, the petitioners, in order to avoid the police, forcibly got her married to one of the petitioners (Umashankar Maurya) in an Arya Samaj Mandir.

She was also forced to say to her brother-in-law, that no action should be taken against the petitioners before the Court. In her statement, she also said that she was already engaged to a boy of her society and they were to marry each other in December 2021.

On the other hand, the Counsel for the petitioners submitted that Umshankar (petitioner number 1) had already married her and they had jointly filed a protection pela before the High Court, which was allowed and disposed of vide order dated 12.03.2021.

Further, the counsel for the informant/victim contended that the statement of the victim had been recorded under section 164 Cr.P.C., in which she had supported the First Information Report version.

Court's observations

Taking into account the FIR, the court, at the outset, observed that the same disclosed the commission of a cognizable offence by the petitioners.

"Perusal of the impugned FIR, prima facie, indicates fraud practiced by the petitioner no. 1 upon the Court to obtain the aforesaid order dated 12.03.2021 passed in Writ C No. 7852 of 2021," the Court noted.

Lastly, dismissing the plea of the petitoners, the Court held thus:

"Facts of the present case, prima facie, disclose that the petitioner no. 1, firstly, kidnapped the informant/respondent/ victim and thereafter, under coercion and threat shown marriage with her and also obtained protection by filing Writ C No. 7852 of 2021...This is, prima facie, abuse of process law which needs to be checked."

Case title - Umashankar And Another v. State Of U P And 2 Others

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