Mumbai: A special court has acquitted a 25-year-old of the offences of kidnapping and rape of a minor after he spent 11 months in prison, finding that the testimony of the victim was not reliable and was ‘devoid of truth’.
In the complaint filed by the mother of the girl in Dec 2020, her 16-year-old daughter had gone for an errand and not returned. She suspected that the accused had kidnapped her and found the daughter in Ahmednagar in his house. She brought her daughter back to Mumbai and lodged a complaint, as her daughter informed her that she had been forcibly taken by the youth she was acquainted with, in a taxi to Shivaji Park, then by bus to Virar and thereon to Ahmednagar by a luxury bus. In Virar, she claimed he had been raped by him.
The youth’s advocate Ajay Lad had argued that the girl had a quarrel with her mother as she was looking to marry her and she had taken the accused’s help to escape home. Further, he had been falsely implicated in the case.
Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act Priti Kumar (Ghule) said in her judgment passed on Jan 31, that the evidence of the victim is not of a sterling witness and not reliable. The court pointed out various instances where there were contradictions between her statement to the police and before the court. She has been changing her stand from time to time and suppressing facts, it stated. “Evidence of prosecutrix is devoid of truth. It clearly shows that she is not a reliable witness,” it said.
While discarding the allegation of kidnapping, the court observed that it is not believed that she was forced to sit in the taxi, taken to a crowded place like Shivaji Park…it is seen that she had ample opportunity to shout for help and run away, had there been force used on her. “If she was kidnapped, she never drew anyone’s attention at a crowded place like Shivaji Park,” it reasoned.