Just when we were trying to get over with the insanely sad incident of a minor boy committing suicide following his marriage, another case has surfaced which has shaken us.
According to the reports published by Times Of India, a 53-year-old Bombay High Court lawyer has been arrested for marrying a minor and raping her. Booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the accused was arrested last week and has been sent to judicial custody by a special court on Thursday, December 21.
Not only the lawyer, the grandparents of the minor, who allegedly forced her into the marriage, have been also named as accused. They are absconding.
Though the accused married the minor on April 21, 2015, in the presence of 40 relatives, the complaint was filed by the now 17-year-old minor on December 13. The accused’s first wife died in 2014 with whom he had a 15-year-old daughter.
According to the report, the accused doubted the minor’s character in July following which he abused her sexually and confined her to the house.
It all started in 2015, when the girl was in Class IX and her grandmother received a marriage proposal from the accused by another woman in the village. The minor lived with her grandparents in a village and visited her parents during school vacations.
The report also states that in the remand application submitted before the court the police told that the minor refused to marry him after knowing his age and wished to complete her education. However, she was allegedly forced to marry the accused despite her protests. Interestingly, her father was against the marriage but he remained silent.
Questioning the education and profession of the accused the remand plea says that despite being a lawyer and an educated man who was well aware of the law, the lawyer married and had sexual relations with a minor.
The police also suspect that the accused had lured the victim’s grandparents by providing them with some incentive.
Well, if you think this is the only case where a minor had to bear the consequences of child marriage, then these instances will reveal that the curse of child marriage is far from over.
1. Class 9 student hangs himself after being married to elder brother’s widow:
A 15-year-old, class 9th student committed suicide after he was forcibly married to elder brother’s widow in Bihar. An FIR was lodged for abetment of suicide and child marriage against the boy’s father Chandreshwar Das and the parents of widow Ruby Devi.
2. Minor married off to 65-year-old Arab Sheikh for Rs 5 lakh:
Earlier this year, a 16-year-old minor girl was married off to 65-year-old Arab Sheikh for Rs 5 lakh in Hyderabad. However, later the family approached the Falaknuma Additional Commissioner of Police and filed a complaint, alleging that the minor had been fraudulently married off to the Omani national.
3. Parents try to marry off 15-year-old to a 42-year-old man:
A 15-year-old girl was rescued by Officials of Childline India Foundation, Social Welfare Department, Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Anti-human Trafficking Wing from Tamil Nadu, who was to be married to a 42-year-old man.
The girl was forced by her mother for the marriage who is a differently abled person. During the interrogation, it was revealed that her parents thought of the girl as a burden.
Shocking child marriage data:
In a report published by The News Minute, an estimated 47 per cent of girls in the country are married before they turn 18.