Mumbai: Man Accused Of Molesting 22 Kids Acquitted In One Case

Mumbai: Man Accused Of Molesting 22 Kids Acquitted In One Case

Acquitting 38-year-old Rashid Qureshi, the Special Judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, SM Takalikar, also disbelieved the girl’s version of the identification parade during her testimony in court.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Monday, May 27, 2024, 10:48 PM IST
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Mumbai: Man Accused Of Molesting 22 Kids Acquitted In One Case |

Mumbai: A POCSO court recently acquitted a man booked in 22 cases of sexual harassment of children in one of those cases after questioning the process of test identity parade.

Acquitting 38-year-old Rashid Qureshi, the Special Judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, SM Takalikar, also disbelieved the girl’s version of the identification parade during her testimony in court.

According to the prosecution, the victim, a resident of Goregaon, was sexually harassed on the evening of December 5, 2015. Qureshi was arrested on April 8, 2019, three-and-a-half years after the incident. The police conducted a test identification parade at Taloja Central Jail, where the girl identified the accused.

Later, her testimony was recorded in court and she again identified the accused, who was produced through video conferencing. Defence lawyer Nazneen Khatri claimed that the victim could not have seen the accused as it was dark at the time of incident. She said that when accused was produced through video conferencing, the girl had no option but to identify him. Khatri also questioned the process of the test identification parade.

Judge Takalikar accepted the defence argument and observed that the naib tahsildar and the executive magistrate each needed to issue a certificate. These certificates must be signed by the panch witness, he said, adding that the executive magistrate’s panchnama was not signed. “Therefore, the entire test identification parade is doubtful,” the judge said.

The court said that Naib Tahsildar Rajan Yelve did not know how many cases were pending against the accused, but he conducted the test identification of the accused in many cases on the same day. Therefore, for that reason also the test identification parade was doubtful, he said.

“The panch witness on the panchnama prepared by the naib tahsildar has not been examined. The memorandum statement did not even show that the dummy person was not of the same age. He has not mentioned the description of all the dummy people in the memorandum statement. Therefore, the identification parade was not lawfully conducted,” Judge Takalikar said.

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