Mumbai: A special court recently acquitted a man charged for sodomizing a 10-year-old near the railway tracks while he was proceeding towards his home in Chembur, pointing to “shaky”, “inconsistent” evidence with regards to the identity of the accused.
As per the complaint registered at Tilak Nagar police station in October, 2013, the 10-year-old was crossing the railway tracks and sat at a concrete platform near Tembi Bridge. There the accused approached him and asked if he drinks whitener. When he denied, he took the child to a tunnel near the bridge and attempted to make him perform oral sex and then sodomised him. The child fled when he was distracted and told a man about the incident, who then chased and apprehended the accused. The child had told the name of the accused. He was arrested.
The court found that the victim gave inconsistent evidence about the identity of the accused and failed to identify him before it.
Referring to his evidence, the court noted that while he nodded when asked by the prosecutor if the man in the dock is the same who had committed the act on him, he had then added that he was unsure. During cross-examination he had said that he had identified the accused as the perpetrator only because he was pointed to by the prosecutor.
The court said that the victim has kept changing his version as regards identification of the accused and said he does not know his name or know him. Though he has given full account of the unnatural sex with him, he has failed to identify the accused in clear terms. His identification becomes doubtful, it added.
The man who had chased the accused had testified before court and supported the prosecution’s case. The court said however, that, even this evidence is not sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused in sexual assault cases. “The material witness is always the victim in sexual assault cases. If the victim fails to support the prosecution, then it is difficult for the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused,” it said.