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Representational Image

A special court designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act last week granted bail to a man accused by his 14-year-old daughter of raping her since 2018 after she blamed a friend for it in her subsequent statement to the police.

The court said while deciding the bail plea that the victim being the daughter of the applicant may be the reason behind the change in statement. It contended that now, a trial would have to decide which version was true. The court said that the trial could take time, and since the victim is staying at a children’s home, it does not find that there are chances of tampering with her as a witness.

The bail plea of the man was rejected in end-January with the court then observing in its order that material on record prima-facie reflects that the offence was committed. At that time the chargesheet was not filed. The court noted now that the chargesheet has been filed in the case.

The report was lodged in November last year after the teen had informed her mother about her father’s acts. She had also alleged that brother sexually assaulted her. Her mother had confronted the father and a quarrel had taken place. Her brother is absconding.

In his bail application, the man had claimed that he was falsely implicated as his daughter had love relations with the friend and he had scolded her and hence she had lodged the false complaint on him. Now, in her supplementary statement to the police, she had alleged the acts were committed by her friend. In her earlier statement, she had said that she had confided in her friend about the father’s acts and he had urged her to approach the police.

The prosecution had opposed granting of bail to the father and expressed the apprehension that he may threaten the victim or abscond as his son had. The court while granting bail imposed strict conditions among which is that he must not try to contact his daughter failing which, steps would be taken to cancel his bail.

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