In the matter of The State of Maharashtra vs VVG & PGN, the Special Court on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act [POCSO], 2012 on 8th October 2021 orders the alleged minor victim regarded as PW 1 to return any ex-gratia compensation she might have received from the government after her complaint turned out to be false.
Facts leading to the prosecution case
A complaint was filed in 2016 against the two men who were in their early 20s alleging that the minor had been kidnapped by them, forcibly made to consume alcohol, and raped by them. Thereafter, they were booked on charges punishable under Sections 363 (Punishment for kidnapping), 366 (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing women to compel her marriage, etc.), 376 (Punishment for rape), 375-D (Gang rape), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) r/w Section 34 ( Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and Sections 4 (Punishment for penetrative sexual assault) and 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of POCSO Act. They were behind bars for nearly 5 years.
The matter was registered and presented before the Special POCSO Court.
Observation of the Court
- The Court while going through the evidence observed that the victim being the most crucial witness did not support the prosecution and in fact stated that no such incident took place with her.
- The Court did not find any substantive evidence to prove the guilt of the accused two men. Hence, the Special Court orders to acquit the two men and all the charges nullified.
- Further, the Court orders the victim to return any monetary benefit, if received from the State Government, as the FIR registered against the two men turns out to be false as appears from her testimony.
Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work & Surbhi Singh