In the POCSO case of The State of Maharashtra vs ASS& Anr., the Special Court for Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act [POCSO], 2012 on 28th March 2022 acquitted the father and uncle accused of raping a 14-year-old minor girl.
Facts leading to the prosecution case
A complaint was lodged by the mother of 14 years old victim girl against her father (accused No.1) and paternal uncle (accused No.2) alleging that accused No.1 and accused No.2 respectively have committed sexual intercourse with the victim. Upon her complaint, the accused were arrested.
The matter was registered and presented before the Special POCSO Court.
The Counsel for the accused contended that in order to fulfil the grudge against accused no. 1 and no. 2; the Complainant has unduly influenced her daughter to put such allegations as accused no. 1 has refused to give her divorce.It was further contended that if the penetrative sexual intercourse by two men, at a different time and different places would have happened it would not have given a medical report of the victim ‘hymen intact’.
Observations of the Court
- After hearing the arguments of both sides, examining the witnesses’ statements, and analysing the medical report, the Special Court did not find any evidence to infer repeated penetrative sexual assault and the redness to labia minora of a young girl can be caused by other reasons.
- The Court notes that the oral evidence of the prosecutrix victim is unreliable as she is under the influence of her mother.
- The Court and found the accused not guilty for the offences punishable under Sections 376 (Punishment for rape), 376 (2)(n) (Repeated rape on the same women), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) r/w 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and Sections 4 (Punishment for penetrative sexual assault), 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault), 8 (Punishment for sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act.
Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – Child Safety at Work & Surbhi Singh