The district court in Thane has acquitted a 30-year-old woman, a resident of Bhiwandi, of trafficking and pushing women into prostitution charges for want of sufficient evidence.
Special judge (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) and additional sessions judge Kavita Shirbhate said in her order that the prosecution has "miserably failed" to prove all the charges against the woman, who hails from West Bengal.
The copy of the order passed on August 13 was made available on Saturday.
Special Public Prosecutor Sanjay More told the court that police had registered an FIR against the woman under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in July 2014 on a complaint that she was trafficking women and young girls from West Bengal and pushing them into flesh trade in Bhiwandi in the Thane district.
"If the evidence of prosecution witness is considered, witnesses have stated that the present accused had pressured the victim for the purpose of prostitution and was taking money. However, the prosecution has not examined both the victim girls to corroborate the evidence of witnesses. Therefore, I held that the the evidence of witnesses is not helpful to prove the ingredients of sections 3, 4 and 6 of the PITA Act," the judge noted.
"The prosecution also failed to prove that the accused had abetted to the use of minor victim girl as a prostitute by committing sexual harassment against her and forcing the victim for illicit sexual relations with unknown customers. I held that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charges levelled against the accused beyond all reasonable doubts," the order said.