The Supreme Court on the 13th of January delivered a very significant judgment in a case involving the kidnapping of a minor. The Court observed that a ‘consensual affair’ is not a legitimate defense against the charge.
The Court said, “Perusal of Section 361 of IPC shows that it is necessary that there be an act of enticing or taking, in addition to establishing the child’s minority (being sixteen for boys and eighteen for girls) and care/keep of a lawful guardian. Such ‘enticement’ need not be direct or immediate in time and can also be through subtle actions like winning over the affection of a minor girl.”
“However, mere recovery of a missing minor from the custody of a stranger would not ipsofacto establish the offence of kidnapping. Thus, where the prosecution fails to prove that the incident of removal was committed by or at the instigation of the accused, it would be nearly impossible to bring the guilt home,” it said.
The judgement was delivered in a case where the defendant claimed that there was a consensual relationship with the minor. The apex court observed, “His core contention appears to be that in view of a consensual affair between them, the prosecutrix joined his company voluntarily. Such a plea, in our opinion, cannot be acceded to given the unambiguous language of the statute as the prosecutrix was admittedly below 18 years of age.”
Thus, quite clearly, the Court says that as per law, “winning over the affection of a minor girl” will be considered inducement in a charge of kidnapping.
The Court also stated, “Even more crucially, there is little to suggest that she was aware of the full purport of her actions or that she possessed the mental acuities and maturity to take care of herself. In addition to being young, the prosecutrix was not much educated. Her support of the prosecution version and blanket denial of any voluntariness on her part, even if presumed to be under the influence of her parents as claimed by the appellant, at the very least indicates that she had not thought her actions through fully.”
The judgement is particularly revealing regarding the manner in which the law interprets a relationship between a minor and an adult.
The verdict makes it clear that a minor in relationship with an adult is considered to have no agency, and with good reason, in decisions regarding elopement and marriage. The lack of maturity, which only comes with age, that makes a minor prone to brainwashing by the adult for exploitation and other sinister purposes contributes greatly towards this assessment.
There is also the influence and power dynamics that are to be considered. An adult can feign affection in order to trap the girl in order to exploit her at a later time. These are obvious realities that every sane individual is aware of and understands but liberals choose to disregard the obvious in order to peddle their political agenda at the cost of the safety and security of minors.
The case of the Muslim youth in Uttar Pradesh
Only recently, a Muslim youth from Bengaluru reached the home of a minor girl in Uttar Pradesh with a soft toy, chocolates and sweets. The poor girl could not even recognize him and he was thrashed, deservedly so one might add, before handing him over to the Police.
Our ‘esteemed’ liberals, meanwhile, defended the deranged youth and defended it using some weird ‘consensual relationship’ logic. Islamist Rana Ayyub, a darling of western liberal media, declared India a ‘sh*thole’ country because the Police did not take kindly to the creepy youth. Shehla Rashid, another ’eminent intellectual’, compared Narendra Modi to Saddam Hussein.
Even if there was anything consensual in the particular instance, hypothetically speaking of course, are we to encourage such conduct where the safety and security of a gullible minor is being jeopardized by her relationship with an adult? It is the responsibility of the state to empower parents who want nothing more than to protect their children from creepy adults but our liberals here wish to criminalize parents for wanting to protect their daughters.
‘Consensual relationships’ excuse invented to whitewash grooming of minors
It is the same phenomenon that we witness in numerous cases of Grooming Jihad. Minor girls are lured by feigning affection by Muslim adults and through other enticements with an aim to convert their religion. Liberals clearly wish to legitimize such perverse ‘relationships’ by importing the concept of consent into a situation where it does not belong.
As recent as November 2020, The Wire claimed that in Uttar Pradesh, the SIT formed to investigate such cases found that in 8 of the 14 cases, the ‘romance’ turned out to be consensual. In reality, the Uttar Pradesh found criminality in 11 of these cases and of the 11, 8 involved a minor. The Wire wants us to believe that these minors were involved in ‘romance’ with adults and on the basis, advocated that Grooming Jihad is a hoax when it is evidently not the case.
Quite clearly, there is every reason here for law enforcement authorities to crack down upon such criminal minded individuals. Liberals may not like it because of their perverse communal agenda but their preferences cannot be incorporated in such a manner that it jeopardizes the safety and security of minors.
The Grooming Gang phenomenon in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, scores of cases have emerged where primarily adult Muslim men of Pakistani descent groomed children of a different race or religion and exploited them sexually. It has been observed that these men targeted girls with a troubled background because it was easier to lure them into a trap.
In many of these cases, it became difficult initially to punish the culprits as the age of the minor girls used to be above the age of consent in the United Kingdom which is 13. Under such circumstances, charges cannot be brought in against the perpetrators without a statement of the girls themselves. In many cases, the girls were so traumatized that they could not bring themselves to deliver a statement.
Liberals in India are playing a dangerous game when they seek to import the concept of consent in relationships involving a minor and an adult. It could have devastating consequences and jeopardize the safety and security of children across the country.