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Kidnapping And Rape Or Love Marriage: Supreme Court Summons Parties To Find A Positive Solution

Srishti Ojha
25 Dec 2021 9:22 AM GMT
Kidnapping And Rape Or Love Marriage:  Supreme Court Summons Parties To Find A Positive Solution
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In case of where a 'husband' charged with offence of kidnapping and rape against his 'wife' by the wife's family, the Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the only thing being canvassed before the Court is that the husband had some pre-marital love affairs, which can hardly be a case under Section 376, IPC. A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh made the observations in...

In case of where a 'husband' charged with offence of kidnapping and rape against his 'wife' by the wife's family, the Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the only thing being canvassed before the Court is that the husband had some pre-marital love affairs, which can hardly be a case under Section 376, IPC.

A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh made the observations in a special leave petition filed against Karnataka High Court's order refusing to quash the FIR's filed against the petitioner husband, his family members and friends for offences of kidnapping and rape ( under section 363, 376 and 34 of Indian Penal Code)

While according to the petitioner husband the present case has been filed by the parents and relatives of the girl who were against her marriage with him, the High Court had relied on a statement given by the wife saying that petitioner had forced her into marrying him. 

"In an endeavour to find out whether a quietus can be put to the matter in some positive way, we consider appropriate that the petitioner/husband and the girl/wife should remain present in Court".

The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the impugned order in July 2019. Later the Court had asked the petitioner husband to join the investigation and directed the Investigating Officer to submit a report in a sealed cover for court's benefit.

The Bench has now observed that materials placed on record clearly show that the marriage took place willingly between the petitioner man and the girl and it appears that the girl's uncle is prima facie trying to settle scores as he holds a public office.

Expressing its dissatisfaction with the investigation carried out, the Bench observed that a completely pedantic approach has been adopted, and the investigation can hardly be called an investigation.

In an endeavour to find out whether a quietus can be put to the matter in some positive way, the Bench considered if appropriate to ask the petitioner husband and the wife to remain present in Court.

Background: The present special leave petition filed through Advocate Sanchit Garg and Advocate Nikhil Jain has stated that the present matter is an outcome of love marriage opposed by the parents and relatives of the girl who had eloped with the Petitioner and married him.

The petitioner has argued that the girl the expressed her fear for safety of her husband, and her in-laws and herself. Considering her insecurity, the Petitioners took her to the office of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka where the the husband and his wife exchanged garlands with each other in the presence of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka.

According to the petitioners when the girl's parents who vehemently opposed her relationship and marriage with the Petitioner husband became aware of the fact that their daughter was residing, she was abducted from petitioners' house.

This was followed by a voluntarily statement allegedly given by the wife before police in May 2016. The Petitioner husband was then taken into custody in July 2016 but was subsequently released on bail. The other Petitioners have secured anticipatory bail.

In voluntary statement given by the girl before the police, she stated that the petitioner threatened her that if she doesn't marry him he will die. Later he 'forcibly took her to the temple', got married to her and took her to Kerala. The statement states that she was harassed by his family members and seeks legal action against the petitioners and others who forcibly kidnapped her to marry and mentally harassed her.

Initially only an FIR alleging kidnapping was filed against the petitioner husband accusing him of forcibly taking the girl with an intention to marry by hatching a plan along with his friends and relatives and family members. Later Section 376 IPC was included alleging that the petitioner forcibly had physical relationship with her.

The petitioners have argued that the criminal proceedings are set into motion with an ulterior motive only to harass the Petitioners for alleged offences not committed by them.

The High Court of Karnataka through its impugned order had refused to quash the proceedings against the petitioner husband and other accused for the offences of kidnapping and rape relying on the complaint and the girl's statement.

The Bench had observed that going though the complaint and the statement of the victim, it is noticed that the complainant (the girl's uncle) has specifically alleged about the abduction of the victim with the assistance of other five accused. Further, the girl herself narrated the motive for the commission of the offence and has named all the petitioners in her statement.

After the husband's counsel reiterated his stand that victim on her own accord had eloped with the man and a false case has been engineered to make the petitioners agree to the unlawful demands of the victim and her family, the High Court had questioned the girl the open Court.

The Court had noted that the victim stood by her statement given before the police and has reiterated that she has narrated the sequence of events and the role played by the petitioner in the commission of the alleged offence in her statement.

The Supreme Court had however stayed the impugned order in July 2019.

Case Title: Vinod Kumar & Ors vs State of Karnataka & Anr

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