The Bihar Post

Indian Court allows ‘teenage couple’ to stay together with baby on humanitarian ground

BOY HAD ENTERED INTO INTER-CASTE MARRIAGE WITH GIRL AFTER ELOPEMENT

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PATNA—In a first, a local court in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has recognised the wedding of two teenage lovers just to ensure their four-month-old baby didn’t face the consequence of their crime.

The landmark judgment was given by Juvenile Justice Board judge of Biharsharif court in Nalanda Manvendra Mishra on Friday.

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The judge in his judgment said it’s true the boy committed the crime by eloping with the girl and establishing physical contacts with her.

“But, now that the baby is born and girl’s parents are not ready to accept their daughter, punishing the boy under the law could directly affect three lives,” the judge said.

“So, for the better protection and life of both, acquitting the juvenile is the best justice,” the judge said.

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However, he added no other accused persons could use this judgment as a ground to prove his innocence in other cases.

The court also directed the boy’s parents to take care of the teenage couple and their newborn baby till they become adult.

According to police, the 17-year-old boy,  a resident of Noorsarai police station in Nalanda district, had eloped with a local teenaged girl in April 2019 after which a case was registered with the local police by girl’s father.

In August the same year, the girl appeared in the court to state she married the boy with her consent since she loved him while her parents wanted to marry her elsewhere yet the boy was convicted in the case.

The boy was 17-year-old and the girl was 16-year-old at the time of crime. Both came from two different castes.

The boy is still 19-year-old and could get imprisonment up to 10 years but the juvenile court acquitted the accused of his serious charges considering the life of the teenaged girl and her four-month-old baby, which could have been in danger in the event of the accused being sent to jail in the case under the provisions of law.

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