Mumbai: A special court designated to hear cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act sentenced a 40-year-old man to life imprisonment for raping his 12-year-old daughter. However, the mother of the victim, who was the complainant and crucial witness in this case, turned hostile before the court.
The 12-year-old girl used to sleep beside her mother. But in May 2017, because of the hot weather, she began to share the bed with her parents, sleeping between parents to be able to enjoy the breeze from the ceiling fan as she slept, according to the girl. The mother, in her statement to police earlier, had said, “On May, 17, 2017, when I got up in the middle of the night I found my daughter sleeping on top of my husband. I was shocked to see this, because my husband would always scold and beat her.”
This display of ‘affection’ made the mother suspicious and the very next day, she took her daughter to the public toilet and asked her about it. Her daughter revealed how at night, when everyone was fast asleep, her father would undress her and touch her inappropriately. On May, 19, 2017, when the girl complained of stomach ache, her mother took her to the doctor. Hospital authorities suspecting the child had been sexually assaulted, spoke to the mother and daughter and informed the police. But in her deposition before the special court, the mother turned hostile.
Special Public Prosecutor Ashwini Rayakar based her case on the statements of the victim and medical reports. Additional Sessions Judge A H Laddhad, sentenced the 40-year-old man to life imprisonment and fined him Rs 5,000, for raping his daughter under 376(2) of the Indian Penal Code, for sexual assault and sexual harassment under Section 4 and 12 of the POCSO Act.