Conduct of victim, mother create doubt, says Court while acquitting tuition teacher of rape

Mumbai: Acquitting a 36-year-old tuition teacher of the charge of kidnapping and raping his Class 9 student by luring her to a visit to a dargah in 2014, a special court has said that the conduct of the victim and her mother create reasonable doubt in the prosecution case.

The court said the prosecution has utterly failed to establish foundational facts on record.

The allegations of rape were made by the victim about a month after the kidnapping report being lodged by her mother. The court found that the delay in making the allegations is not satisfactorily explained by the prosecution and hence is fatal to the case. The court remarked on the conduct of the mother who did not disclose the incident of rape the same or next day to the police after her daughter disclosed it to her four to five days after the kidnapping complaint was lodged and approached the police regarding it after 25 days.

The court also considered the conduct of the then 14-year-old victim who did not raise an alarm or react instantly when she was molested and sexually assaulted by the accused. “Neither the mother nor father of the victim reacted promptly against the accused for the most heinous allegations and kept quiet for almost 25 days,” it observed.

Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Jayshri R. Pulate said it is a settled principle of law that delay in lodging a report is not fatal to the prosecution case, but that the court has to act cautiously to consider the delay.

Regarding the kidnapping allegations, the court said that it reflects in the victim’s cross-examination that she had herself messaged the accused on Facebook about her wish to visit the dargah. It said it was surprising that when the duo was on the bike, she did not make a hue and cry to be rescued from his clutches.

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