An 80-year-old man spent over a year in jail after being accused of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old neighbour. The man was acquitted by a special POCSO court in Mumbai after both, the mother and daughter turned hostile.
The mother had filed a complaint against the octogenarian and told the police that he had attacked her teenage daughter in June 2020. The mother got to know of this incident as the daughter came home crying. However, in court, the mother changed her statement and denied that she had given such a statement to the police.
The man claimed that he was innocent and had been falsely accused of sexual assault as the child’s family wanted to occupy his flat. Before this, his plea for bail was rejected by the court.
Advocate for the accused submitted that there was no direct evidence of sexual assault from the complainant (mother) and her daughter as well. There are no marks of injury or fresh tear on the body of the victim. The accused claimed innocence, as there is no evidence which showed he committed the crime, while the complainant changed her statement as well.
The medical officer too concurred that there is no evidence of physical assault on the body of the victim, the special POCSO court said. Subsequently, the court acquitted the senior citizen.
While cases of sexual assault are extremely serious in nature, false and motivated cases like these, cast negative implications of genuine victims of such crimes. The falsely accused men, of course, get a mere acquittal.
Author: Nandini Shah is a 3rd year Bachelors of Journalism student and currently working as an intern with MDO.
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