Only Forceful Compulsion Of Marriage would Attract Section 366: Supreme Court

Case: Mafat Lal & Anr. Versus The State Of Rajasthan

While listening to the appeal, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath observed that an offence under Section 366 IPC would be attracted only when there is a forceful compulsion of marriage, by kidnapping or by inducing a woman.

Following are the facts of the case:

Facts: The appellant was charge-sheeted under Sections 363 and 366 IPC for allegedly abducting a minor girl. Later, the appellant along with the abductee filed a petition under Section 482 CrPC before the Rajasthan High Court praying for the quashing of the FIR and all proceedings arising therefrom.

However, the High Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the abductee was a minor at the time when she left her home and that the appellant had evaded the investigation and had been successful in keeping away from the process of law for several years.

Hands of the bride in the hands of the groom performing marriage ritual.

Before the Apex Court, both the appellant and abductee reiterated the statements they had made before the High Court and submitted that they are married since December 2006 and have a son born in the year 2014.

The court allowed the appeal and quashed the criminal proceedings, saying:
“Kidnapping would necessarily involve enticing or taking away any minor under eighteen years of age if a female for the offence under Section 363 IPC. In the present case, the abductee had clearly stated that she was neither taken away nor induced and that she had left the home of her own free will. Section 366 IPC would come into play only where there is a forceful compulsion of marriage, by kidnapping or by inducing a woman. This offence also would not be made out once the abductee has clearly stated that she was in love with the appellant and that she left her home on account of the disturbing circumstances at her parental home as the said relationship was not acceptable to her father and that she married appellant on her own free will without any influence.”

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