Man freed of charges of kidnapping, sexually assaulting minor

New Delhi: A man, accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, has been a acquitted by a Delhi court after the minor said they were in love and she voluntarily eloped with him.

Additional sessions judge Renu Bhatnagar acquitted the Uttarakhand native of the offences under sections 363 (kidnap) and 366 (kidnapping to compel for marriage) of the IPC and section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The court also rejected the testimony of one of the witnesses who deposed against the accused. "Since the girl has
refused that the accused had taken her or made physical relations with her, it is futile to record the statement of
remaining one witness as he is not an eye witness. The other witness number 4 (mother of the girl) is also hostile,"
it said while acquitting the accused.

According to the prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the girl's father, a Delhi resident, alleging that on the
intervening night of July 21-22, 2014, his daughter went missing while the family members were asleep. He informed
the police the next day and she was found a few days later with the accused in Dehradun, it said.

However, after the girl was found, her father refused to pursue the case or take action against the accused, the
court noted.

During the trial, the accused denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

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