Friday, March 1, 2013

No FIR for kidnapping if girl weds voluntarily

Govt to SC Centre Aims To Protect Young Couples From Harassment

Pitching for protection of young couples from harassment for eloping and marrying against the wishes of parents or the community, the Centre has told the Supreme Court that police must not register FIR against the boy for kidnapping or abduction without ascertaining the view of the girl if she was 16 years or more. 
    If the girl is below the age of 18 years, the police slaps a case under Section 361 of Indian Penal Code accusing the boy of kidnapping her from her lawful guardian. If she has attained the age of 18, then the parents opposed to the marriage lodge a complaint under Section 362 accusing the groom of kidnapping their daughter through deceit. 
    Sometimes, the FIR is also lodged under Section 366 alleging that the girl was kidnapped to force her to marry the boy. In any case, the boy is arrested and the girl rescued and sent to Nari Niketans (women’s home). The Centre said ‘honour killing’ happened mainly in cases where girls in the age group of 16-18 years choose to marry against the custom, into a different caste or religion or community or within the same gotra. 
    Framing the Centre’s Jsubmissions, ASG Indira Jaising said in such cases, parents of the girl lodge an FIR either under Section 361 or 362 of IPC leading to the arrest of the bridegroom. 
    “It may be necessary to interpret the provisions of Sections 361 and 366 in a manner which does not result in harassment of girl above the age of 16 years who marries against the wishes of her parents,” Jaising said in her written submission on behalf of the Union government. 
    She cited a nearly 50-yearold judgment of the Supreme Court supporting the Centre’s views. The case related to an FIR against a boy for allegedly kidnapping a minor girl and marrying her. After ascertaining the views of the girl, the court had said if a girl had “left her father’s protection knowing and having capacity to know the full import of what she was doing voluntarily”, the boy could not be accused of kidnapping her. 
    The Centre said, “It is submitted for the consideration of the Supreme Court that a direction be given that before any FIR is lodged under Section 361, 362 or 366 of IPC in relation to a woman who has attained the age of discretion, the police may be directed to ascertain the wishes of the woman and if she has voluntarily decided to marry a person of her choice, no case under these sections must be recorded on the complaint of the parents.” 
    It added, “This is necessary as it will avoid arrest where a woman of the age of discretion is marrying a person of her choice, more particularly when the marriage happens to be inter-caste or an inter-religious marriage or marriage within the gotra or a marriage for other reasons that may be disapproved by the community to which the woman belongs or a marriage or proposed marriage which is perceived as bringing dishonour to caste, community or creed. 
House panel backs govt decision not to treat marital rape as sexual offence New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has endorsed the government’s decision not to treat “marital rape” as a sexual offence in the recently-promulgated anti-rape Ordinance, agreeing that it could destroy the institution of marriage. However, the panel was silent on rape in live-in relationships, with many members of the view that treating it differently from other sexual offences was not possible in the absence of a law recognizing live-in arrangements. Chairman of the standing committee on home affairs M Venkaiah Naidu said that leaving scope for the wife to accuse her husband of rape “has the potential of destroying the institution of marriage”. 

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