Two men in their mid to late-twenties who spent over five years in prison were acquitted by a sessions court on Friday of the charge of gangraping a 17-year-old in mid-2016. In court, she had gone back on her complaint and not supported the case.
Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele ordered that if any compensation has been given to her by the state government, it be recovered. The court directed that the senior police inspector of Dahisar police station where the case was registered take necessary steps to ensure that the government does the needful.
Prosecutor Sachin Jadhav had sought for recovery of compensation as well as for her to be tried for perjury. The complaint was registered by her, but in her testimony she had stated that her mother had taken her to the police station and obtained her signatures on a statement. She said her statement recorded later before a magistrate was also on the instructions of her mother. She further said she did not know the men and that the incident did not occur with her.
Judge Baghele said in the judgment that the victim was the most crucial witness but she did not support the prosecution and even went to the extent of stating that no incident took place with her. Police witnesses had supported the case with regard to the statement they recorded, but the court said their testimony may not be of any help to bring home the guilt of the accused as they cannot be used as a substantive piece of evidence.
The court said if she has received any ex-gratia monetary aid from the government, it becomes the duty of the court to apprise the government of the fact that the FIR itself appears to have been falsely lodged, as per her own testimony. Such aid deserves to be recovered by taking necessary actions in the nature of recovery of land revenue, it stated, adding that this is for the simple reason that it would otherwise amount to misappropriation of public money by an unscrupulous person.
It however did not agree to try her for perjury or giving false evidence before it, considering her age at the time of filing the complaint as well as during deposition.
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