A special court while convicting a 45-year-old for the offence of sexual assault, acquitted him of the charge of penetrative sexual assault, observing that the victim’s statement with regard to the latter are not reliable.
Special Judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Rekha N Pandhare said in her judgment that so far as the accused inserting his finger in the victim's private part, pressing it and exhibiting his private part to her is concerned, there is “no mention” of these in the FIR. The court also said that the investigating officer had also stated in his cross-examination that the victim, then 11 years, had not stated this before him. It, thus, held that her testimony on these aspects are “not reliable and acceptable”.
The court further said that these facts are coming on record before the court for the first time from the mouth of the victim, so it cannot be used against the accused to hold him liable.
It said that if the entire evidence is scrutinized carefully, it is evident that he had caught hold of her hand, took her to his room, closed the doors and windows and touched her body, more particularly her chest and back.
Judge Pandhare refused to be lenient with the man, a neighbour of the victim in imposing a sentence. She said that it is to be borne in mind that the victim is a girl of the accused’s daughter’s age and her age was 11 years at the time of the incident. Despite this, he has committed a shameful act with the victim girl by touching her body. The court sentenced him to five years jail and ordered him to pay compensation of Rs 20,000 to the victim.
As per the Tilak Nagar police station’s case, the girl, who was studying in Class 5 in 2015, had returned from school and was proceeding to her friend’s house for homework. The accused had blocked her way and took her by the hand to his home, a few houses away from her own. He had closed its doors, windows and touched her inappropriately while closing her mouth so that she could not raise an alarm. The complaint also alleged that he pointed to his private part and attempted to undress her. His wife had seen the happenings through a gap in the window and, coming into the house, had slapped the girl.