New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS): The Delhi High Court has expressed grave concern over the increasing cases of kidnapping and sexual assault on minor girls, leading to the abandonment of education and denial of career opportunities.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said that such incidents not only affect the individuals involved but also have profound repercussions for society as a whole.
Justice Sharma's comments came while dismissing an appeal by Mohd. Taslim Ali, convicted of kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl.
Despite already being married and having two children, Ali married the minor victim after convincing her to abandon her studies. The court rejected Ali's argument that he did not know the victim's age as she was not carrying an Aadhaar Card.
The court stressed the importance of education in women's empowerment and the need for a safe and supportive environment for minor girls to pursue their studies.
Justice Sharma remarked that societal progress relies on education as a fundamental pillar, and any disruption, such as girls being forced to abandon their studies, compromises the foundation of societal advancement.
Addressing the modus operandi, the judge noted that girls are often misled into thinking they are entering into a marital union, with the sexual assault portrayed as a consensual act. The consequences of these acts extend beyond individual victims, disrupting social bonds and lawful guardianship.
Justice Sharma said that the criminal justice system should adopt a social responsibility approach, ensuring that judgements in such cases go beyond individual victims and address broader societal interests.
The court stated that these judgements send a message to society, demonstrating an awareness of the challenges faced by victims and the larger community.