Mumbai: Court notes changed statements of victim, grants bail to 53-year-old man accused of raping his daughter

A 53-year-old man accused of raping his seven-year-old daughter was granted bail by a special court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which noted that the minor had changed her statement.

The court noted that the minor had earlier blamed a maternal uncle in her statement to the police, but later had made allegations against her father and another maternal uncles.

Special judge Kalpana K Patil noted in her order that she had perused the FIR and the statements of witnesses, particularly those of the victim recorded during the course of the investigation. “It appears from the statement of the girl that she has changed her statement, and given names of her maternal uncle and her father,” the court noted. It continued, “No doubt, all the statements of the victim speak about penetrative sexual assault. However, initially she claims said assault has been made by her maternal uncle, and in her another statement she claims it is made by her father and another material uncle.”

It noted that the child is under the care of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), therefore, there is no possibility of her being contacted by her father.

The JJ Marg police, where the offence is registered, opposed relief and told the court that the accused being the father of the victim, if released on bail, may pressurize her as well as other prosecution witnesses. It had also cited the medical reports of the child that had confirmed rape.

In June last year, the Agripada police had registered an offence on the basis of an FIR filed by the child’s paternal aunt. As per this, she had been sexually assaulted by her maternal uncle when her mother had taken the victim and her brother to her parental home after a quarrel with her husband. Then the trio had returned. Almost a month after the first statement, the child gave another statement to JJ Marg police station, in which she had named the maternal uncle, and had then blamed her father and another maternal uncle.

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