2 years on, minor forced to marry rapist awaits justice
A minor, who was forced to marry her rapist nearly three years ago, is still knocking the courts’doors for justice after her tormentor and his family started abusing and harassing her within days of the ill-conceived marriage.
Accused Deepak Garg allegedly raped neighbour Rani (name changed), then only 15 years old, in 2014. A case was registered against him under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, following which he was arrested.
In a bid to secure bail, Garg proposed to marry the victim. Surprisingly, a Delhi court granted him an interim bail for seven days, and coverted it into a regular bail after the two got married. “We were under pressure. Garg’s family threatened us several times while he was in jail. Agar humara beta andar hai to teri beti ko bhi hum jeene nahi denge (If our son is behind the bars, we will not let your daughter live as well). In order to save ourselves from humiliation in the society, we agreed for the match,” Rani’s mother Manju Devi said.
Within days, however, the Garg family started torturing Rani. They would abuse her and threaten her that they would force her into prostitution by selling her to a brothel.
When the assault and beatings went out of control, the victim complained to the police and approached the court, urging that Garg’s bail be cancelled, because he was harassing her for dowry.”We filed an application to cancel his bail, because within two-three days of the wedding, he started beating my daughter and harassing her. The family even tried to burn her alive,” Manju Devi said.
Dismissing the application, however, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Vikas Dhull said the bail could not be cancelled as both were now married. “The minor victim’s wedding with the accused was held on September 25, 2014. No condition was put in the bail order, as to how the accused should conduct his matrimonial life. Therefore, on the strength of allegations made by the child victim regarding the accused treating her with cruelty on account of dowry demands or on account of physical and mental abuse, bail granted to the accused cannot be cancelled. The victim can take appropriate remedy with regard to her allegations as per the matrimonial laws. Accordingly, the application seeking cancellation of bail is dismissed,” the court ruled.
Rani and her mother then took their plight to the High Court, where their plea was cancelled again for lacking merit.
- Deepak Garg
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act
- Delhi Court
- Manju Devi
- Additional Sessions Judge
- Vikas Dhull
- High Court