Three persons, including two sisters, who were accused of immoral trafficking and forcing a minor girl into prostitution, have been acquitted by a court here in Maharashtra for want of evidence against them.
Special Judge (POCSO Act) Kavita D Shirbhate in a recent order held that the prosecution failed to prove charges levelled against the three persons under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Additional public prosecutor Sanjay More told the court that on March 21, 2017, the police raided a premises in a housing colony at Hatkesh in Thane district and rescued a 14-year-old girl, whom the accused pushed into flesh trade and were living on her earnings.
The defence lawyers contested the case and pointed out several lapses in it. In her order, the judge said the investigating officer did not conduct the raid as per provisions of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.
The prosecution also failed to prove that the accused persons forced the victim into prostitution. "In the absence of material evidence on record, it is difficult for me to hold the accused guilty in this matter," the judge said while acquitting the three persons.