A 24-year-old was acquitted in a case of raping his minor sister between 2017 and 2018 as the sister revoked from her statements during trial and said that she had lodged the complaint against him in anger as he was opposed to her hanging out with a boy.
In her testimony before the special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) the victim said she did not remember what happened in 2017 and that she had lodged the FIR as her elder brother would beat her and shout at her as she was roaming with her boyfriend.
She denied the incidents that she had alleged in the complaint as well as in the statement recorded before a magistrate. She further said she had signed blank papers at the police station. The court also noted that she stated she was tutored by her boyfriend and had lodged the complaint in anger.
Additional Sessions Judge HC Shende in her judgment said that when the victim has herself denied giving any such FIR, then nothing remains of the prosecution story. “The building of the prosecution has collapsed because of contradictory and untrustworthy testimony of the victim”. The court observed that she might not have supported the prosecution case because of the relation between her and the accused.
It noted that earlier during his bail plea too, an affidavit was filed by her in his support, but the High Court had not accepted it and his plea was rejected. The trial had then proceeded as a time-bound one. It said that during the course of evidence too, she has not supported her earlier statement before the investigating machinery. “She retracted from her statement and I am constrained to hold that because of the contradictory, unbelievable testimony of the victim and insufficient evidence...the offences have not been proved against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt,” Judge Shende said.
The accused had been in custody since his arrest in February 2019.