A special court observed that a gang rape victim’s testimony does not appear to be truthful in a 2014 case where it recently acquitted one rape accused along with three others who allegedly compelled the 12-year-old to marry one of her violators. One rape accused whose DNA had matched with the child she gave birth to was convicted.
The court said different versions are coming before it, and though her age can be considered, there cannot be a variance of such nature that she is unable to tell if the incidents happened for three days consecutively or over six months.
“The evidence of the victim, therefore, becomes very doubtful and it is very difficult to rely upon the same,” special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Bharti Kale stated in her detailed judgment.
The victim’s father, who is the complainant in the case, had said that he became aware of the pregnancy only in its eight month. The order noted that though he was returning home late, the victim has siblings, including elder sisters, who could have noticed it. It found it highly improbable that no one noticed her pregnancy.
As per the case, all three times, she was raped in the grocery shop run by the two accused. The court said that the victim’s conduct repeatedly going to the shop after being threatened and subjected to sexual assault does not appear to be probable. It said children avoid such places where they are threatened, or wrong things are committed with them.
Judge Kale also pointed out the inordinate delay by the father in lodging the complaint. The father had claimed he was under constant threat. The court refused to believe this and noted that he approached the police with the complaint only after one accused lodged a complaint against him for demanding him.
Three police persons from Amboli police station are also accused of being complicit in the child marriage.
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