In an extremely unexpected and gender biased decision, Bihar court on Monday asked a 16-year-old boy to take care of his ‘live-in partner and their eight-month-old infant’. The Nalanda Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) principal judge Manvendra Mishra on Monday said that the teenager must take care of the girl, who is 18 months older than him, at his parents’ home.
The court stated that while the act of the teenager was punishable by law, he was acquitted keeping in mind the “larger interest of the lives of three minors – the boy himself, his minor live-in partner and their eight-month-old daughter.”
On February 11, 2019, the parents of a local girl approached the cops and alleged that she was kidnapped by a boy, his parents and his elder brother. The family members of the teenager were later removed from the FIR when the cops learned that they were not involved.
On July 19, last year, the girl appeared before the court and said that she eloped with the accused to the national capital of her own free will. The girl told the court that they were a couple and the two had a baby girl as well.
Court Asks Accused’s Parents To Look After Live-in Partner
The court observed,
The order is an exception and it cannot be used to take advantage by anyone.
The court asked the parents of the accused to treat the minor as their married daughter-in-law and the infant as their granddaughter.
Rajesh Pathak, the additional public prosecutor said that the trial of the case started on March 19 and ended on Monday. The case was termed as the first one that ended within three working days.
The juvenile accused, who was only 14 years of age, at the time of committing the crime, had surrendered in court on February 20 this year and was sent to a place of safety in Sheikhpura district.
Pathak said that the parents of the teenager agreed to the conditions put forward by the court.
Court also directed Hilsa Bal Kalyan police to submit a report of well-being of the girl and her child every six months for two years.
- This is a very tricky situation where both the boy and girl are minors who are totally naive
- Despite the girl being elder to the boy by 18-months, the boy becomes an accused due to our Gender Biased POCSO law
- The minor girl admitted that she eloped with the boy on her free will, yet the boy has been termed as accused (though acquitted later)
- We have repeatedly stated that it is not right to charge only a minor boy of rape under POCSO, where the minor girl is an equal party to the act
- Either both genders must be made accountable, or neither sides (especially the girl’s side) should misuse the law for settling score with the minor boy
- The above case is even more challenging, because now there is one more life involved
- We also want to point out the gender bias when it comes to becoming the ‘provider’ for the family
- Why should the onus only rest on the male gender? In this case, the minor girl is elder to the boy, yet the boy must provide for her
- Women must get their rights in every way, however, the same must come with equal responsibility and accountability
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