A special POCSO court in Mumbai acquitted a 70-year-old man on Thursday, in an alleged sexual assault case of his nine-year-old neighbour. The court noted that the senior citizen had only touched the girl from a distance to make her leave his home and not with the intention to touch her inappropriately.
According to the prosecution, on November, 18, 2018, around 5.30pm, the girl went out to play with her friends. Half an hour later, two of her friends informed her mother that the neighbouring “baba” (grandfather) had done something bad to her daughter. The mother then went and brought her daughter home and inquired with her. The girl disclosed that while playing hide and seek, she went to hide in the house of the accused. She said the accused was sitting on the chair and reading a book. The 9-year-old child alleged the accused then sexually assaulted her.
According to the accused, the child had been repeatedly walking into his house and disturbing him while he was reading a spiritual book.
The child and her mother deposed in court. Referring to the child’s testimony, the court said,
The cross-examination of the victim shows the mother fought with the accused. The victim deposed when the quarrel took place, my mother told me to tell like this to the police. Thus, the circumstances show the complainant had fought prior to lodging a complaint. Thereafter, on instructions of the mother, the child gave a statement to the police.
The court further noted,
The sole testimony of the victim is not cogent, trustworthy and is under the influence of the mother. In examination in chief, the victim deposed that she had reported the incident to her sister and the sister told her mother.
The court also remarked that it was common that a mother will quarrel with a neighbour when her child is scolded for playing and also the child was bound to cry if removed from a house. Adding further the court concluded,
It is not surprising that children play in buildings and senior citizens get disturbed. The touch was from a distance. It was therefore not seen that it was with a sexual intent.
In my view the evidence is not inspiring confidence. The cross-examination of the victim shows due to the quarrel, the mother told her to tell like this.
- Despite the court being fully aware that the mother of the alleged victim filed a false sexual assault case on the 70-year-old man, there are no consequences on her for doing so
- There is no accountability on wasting precious time of courts, which can be devoted to genuine victims of abuse
- Such women may have no fear in the future and continue to do so by using women centric laws as a weapon to fix anyone, particularly the Men, if they do not agree or fall in line with their demands or fancies
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