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"No purpose will be served by compelling the appellant to undergo trial which will affect a well settled family of husband and wife and two grown up children," court said
The Supreme Court has set aside the High Court's "cryptic" order, declining to quash a criminal case of kidnapping for purpose of marriage against a man lodged 24 years ago, though he continued to cohabit with the 'victim' woman and became father of two grown up children.
"No purpose will be served by compelling the appellant to undergo trial which will affect a well settled family of husband and wife and two grown up children," a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said.
The court allowed an appeal filed by Sachin alias Pinku and set aside the High Court's order July 13, 2016 and quash the proceedings, pending before a Fast Track Court at Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
After hearing the counsel of the petitioner and the state government, the court noted there is no dispute between the appellant and the third respondent (woman, who is currently his wife), that marriage between them was solemnised on June 23, 1999 and that they have two grown up children.
It also noted Aadhar Card and Pan Card of the woman showed that she has described herself as the wife of the appellant.
The case is of the year 1999. The charge sheet was filed way back on July 11, 1999. Thus, the hanging sword of the trial continues on the appellant for 24 years. From June 23, 1999 till date, the appellant and the third respondent have been staying together as husband and wife, the court recorded.
"Therefore, this was a fit case where the High Court ought to have exercised its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC by quashing the charge sheet and the criminal case," the bench said.
The First Information Report was filed for the offences punishable under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC against the appellant and co-accused Manoj, who was discharged by the trial court in 2004.
The woman has filed a counter affidavit stating that the facts stated in the petition are correct and in fact there was a marriage and till date, they are happily cohabiting together.
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