A 21-year-old man was acquitted of charges of kidnapping a minor girl by the Chandigarh district court on Thursday after the victim turned hostile in court.
The accused Ashish Kumar, a native of Uttar Pradesh and residing in Chandigarh, has been acquitted under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the prosecution, Ashish was arrested on March 16 this year after a complaint was lodged by the victim’s mother. The complainant stated that when her 17-year-old daughter did not return home from the market after sometime, she got worried and told her family members who started looking for the girl. But when they failed to find her, they approached the police and alleged that the accused had kidnapped the girl on the pretext of marrying her. It was also mentioned in the complaint that earlier as well, Ashish had persuaded the girl to marry him and so he had kidnapped her with malafide intent. Based on the complaint, police booked Ashish and later arrested him from his native village in UP.
During the trial, defence counsel Inderjeet Bassi argued that the accused had been falsely implicated as the minor had clearly stated during cross-examination that Ashish had not kidnapped her and that she had gone to Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh on her own.