The Bombay High Court last week dealt with a case of a marriage of a 56-year-old advocate with a minor girl, who expressed her willingness to live with him after turning 18.
The case began in 2014 when the girl was 14-year old and the man was 52-year old. The girl had alleged in her complaint that her grandparents forced her into the marriage with a man who was 38 years older to her.
The man, who is also an advocate was arrested under the rape case for marrying a 14-year-old girl. He was subsequently in judicial custody for around 10 months and then released on bail.
Last year, in September, the girl turned 18, after which the man went to Bombay High Court and filed a petition to quash the rape case lodged against him for marrying a minor.
The 18-year-old also filed an affidavit in the court saying she has settled the dispute and wants to now cohabit with her husband and henceforth, has no objection for the case to be quashed.
“Undisputedly she was a minor at the time of her marriage with the accused but now she has become major and has expressed her willingness to cohabit with the accused person,” the court said in its order as reported by the Press of India.
Justice Ranjit More and Bharti Dangre gave the judgement that marriage between the two will be considered legal but only after man agrees to the conditions directed by the bench.
The bench told the husband to transfer 10 acres of land in her name, open a fixed deposit (FD) account with Rs 7 lakh for her and ensure that she finishes her education.
On the other hand, Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai opposed the petition, saying quashing such a case would set a bad example and send a wrong signal to the public at large.
“Since the complainant is ready to cohabit with the petitioner (advocate) as his legally wedded wife, the marriage, which otherwise is voidable, becomes valid,” the court said as reported by PTI.
The court adjourned the case to September and had directed the police not to take any steps towards probing in the case.