Counsel for the applicant submitted that this is a case of love affair. Even as per the prosecution story so narrated in the F.I.R. she had gone to Ludhiyana with the present applicant willingly where the present applicant established physical relation on the promise of marriage. Attention was drawn towards the statement of prosecutrix recorded under section 161 and 164 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 wherein she had not leveled any allegation against the present applicant. She did not support the prosecution version rather submitted that she was willingly living with the present applicant. Their relation were consensual. They got married without informing their family members. She subsequently conceived and was blessed with a male child. It was further submitted that presently the prosecutrix was living with the family members of the applicant and she does not want to go to the place of her parents.
However, State Counsel opposed the bail application on the point that since the age of the present applicant at the time of incident was below 18 years, to be more precise, around 15 years and one month on the basis of statement of the Principal of the institution where the prosecutrix was studying. Therefore, such consent of prosecutrix is meaningless in the eyes of law and the present applicant should not be released on bail.
The Court was pained to observe the fact that a children of tender age who have not attained the age of majority are indulging in such type of relations which may not be said to be a proper relation. When a certain age has been prescribed by the statute to get married and live accordingly, any such act which has been committed prior to such age cannot be approved. The age of 15-16 years or below 18 years is not the age where any young couple should enter into the institution of marriage.
The Court however opined that in the present circumstances wherein the present applicant and prosecutrix have not only got married but they are having infant son from said wedlock and it is the responsibility of the couple to look after his child properly, it would be only just to release the applicant from jail otherwise there might be a possibility that his minor wife with his son might not be taken care of properly by his parents.
The Court allowed the bail application with certain directions considering the larger interest of the child and mother who should have been taken care of by the present applicant.
[Suraj v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 485, decided on 27-05-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Ram Pukar Singh, Advocate, Counsel for the Applicant;
Dr Gyan Singh ,Shiv Charitra Tiwari, Advocates, Counsel for the Opposite Party.
*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.