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dreams fulfilled or rape ?


"When the mother of a 14-year-old boy, who went missing, filed a kidnap case against their neighbour, a 22-year-old woman, last year, she had hardly expected how the case would turn. The ‘‘couple’’ who had eloped, were found in Rajasthan, married with a 6-month-old daughter. "

The complete story can be found here.

The gist of the story, is that a 14 year old boy and a 22 year old girl eloped from Delhi and were later found by the police in Ajmer, Rajasthan living together, with a 6 month old daughter. The boy's family have accepted the girl as their daughter-in-law and have withdrawn their initial complaint against the girl of having kidnapped the fellow. They have also gone ahead and posted the bail for the girl.

Now I know there will be the usual cries of "Wah, kya kismat pai hai ! 14 ki umra mein 22 ki ladki ke saath.." etc etc. but what I am unable to figure out is that if the genders were reversed here, then the 22 year old boy would have been arrested and castigated for seducing, raping and probably illegally marrying a minor girl.

Assuming the law of the land applies equally, being one the fundamental tenets of our constitution, why shouldn't the girl be held, tried and found guilty of statutory rape ?
The question of consensual sex, i.e. the boy might have been a willing partner, is not applicable because he was a minor and the law recognises such a union as statutory rape, no less.

When will we ever learn?

At the same time, we also have to grapple with the fact that there is a 6 month old baby, a female, added to the equation now. Which means that whatever course the future takes, care is taken to ensure that while justice is done, the interests of the child, however unwilling it might be to be a party to this sordid affair, are taken care of.

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