A 65-year-old chairman of a suburban high rise in Mumbai has been acquitted – from charges of sexually abusing a minor girl – after seven years.
Special POCSO court observed that the accused man’s claim of being falsely implicated in the case due to a parking dispute, could not be ruled out. The man had also served three months in jail in 2014.
According to the parents of the victim girl, their 5-year-old daughter had gone to play with accused’s granddaughter at the latter’s place on January 26, 2014. When the father reached their place at 6pm that evening to take his daughter for a birthday party, she insisted for staying back as her friend had been sleeping and just woken up. Thus, she wanted to play with her.
On being questioned, what did the daughter do all this while when her friend was sleeping, the 5-year-old alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by her friend’s grandfather (also the chairman of the society).
However, the father took the daughter to the birthday party after this allegation, and it is only the next day that the mother approached police to register complaint.
Senior Citizen’s Son’s Statement
As a defense witness, son of the senior citizen said that on the day of alleged incident, he and all his family members were sitting in the living room having snacks. He also said that the girl’s father had visited their place and complained about some garbage being thrown on their car in the parking lot.
There was also exchange of words between them at that point in time.
Court took strong objection to the parents not allowing their minor daughter to depose. The court remarked,
There is no direct evidence against the accused to connect him with the offence on the girl. Had there been an element of truth, the parents would not have prevented the recording ..of her evidence. The prosecution has failed to give cogent, trustworthy proof against the accused.
The parents claimed she had forgotten the incident, but the court said a child would not forget such an incident easily. The court also said that a child may forget other things, but will always remember the bad touch to their private parts which has caused her shame and outraged her modesty.
Adding further the court also noted that any educated person who believes in truth and justice system will not stop their child from giving evidence. The court cited,
Being an educated mother with sound background, it was the duty of the complainant to allow direct and substantive evidence to come on record so that in the interest of children, the wrongdoer can be punished. Care is taken in POCSO Act to protect the child.
In fact the mother shockingly also gave a fake address in court. She only later revealed that she did not want her real address to be mentioned in court records.
Statement By Senior Citizen (Now Acquitted)
The man claimed that his senior years were ruined due to the case and also when he had to spend 3-months in jail before being granted bail in 2014. The minor girl and her parents on the other hand had since moved out of the building.
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