A special court on Friday acquitted an accused in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case based on the admission of the girl that she voluntarily left her home with him.
Noting the admission of the girl during the cross-examination in a kidnapping and rape case that she had a love affair with the accused and her conduct of not raising an alarm during journey by a bus from Mumbai to Pen, from Pen to Khed and later back to the city, the special court under the POCSO Act acquitted the accused.
“The conduct of the prosecutrix of not raising alarm during travel by public transport at various places shows she voluntarily eloped with the accused,” the court said.
Judge Sanjashree J Gharat said in her judgment that she found the defence of the accused more probable that though the girl was good in studies, her family was against her education and when they learnt about her affair with the accused, arranged her marriage with someone else, due to which she left her house.
The court also noted that the auto by which the duo had left the place had been arranged by the girl’s friend. “There is no evidence to show the accused forcibly took the prosecutrix against her wish,” it said. The girl’s deposition that the 33-year-old threatened her at knife-point to tell her family not to look for her does not seem probable, it added and observed this aspect is missing in her statement to the police and amounts to an improvement on a material point.
The girl has deposed before court that the accused had proposed marriage to her, which she had refused, but he had kept stalking and harassing her. She had said further that he had threatened to kill her family members.
The court noted that in her cross-examination she had said that she was taken by him to Pen by a state transport bus, her friend was present with her and there were opportunities for her to raise an alarm or convey a message to her family members through her friend.
The court noted they had again travelled from Pen to Khed by bus and then from Khed to his home in Dombivli, from where the accused’s brother had produced them before the police.