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A special court has acquitted a man accused of rape after his 11-year-old daughter turned hostile in court, saying that she had complained against him after watching the TV series ‘Savdhan India’, which gave her the impression that her father’s “loving kisses” were “something wrong”.
The girl, in her statement to the magistrate under section 164 of CrPC, said that her father had done “nothing wrong” to her. She told the magistrate that she was upset with him for fighting with her mother over petty issues. “Maine mummy aur police ko badha chadha ke bola (I exaggerated things before my mother and the police),” the girl said in her statement.
In the judgment, special court Judge Prem Kumar Barthwal said, “It is possible that the child had been tutored or won over, but in absence of any allegation in her deposition, it will be against all canons of justice to hold the accused guilty of sexually assaulting his own daughter.” The girl was taken for a medical check up after the complaint on September 9. She was also counselled by an NGO, following which her mother lodged a complaint. A case was registered the same day at New Friends Colony police station under IPC sections of rape and the POCSO Act. Since the accused was the girl’s father, she was kept at the Prayas Home for girls to ensure her safety. The same day, police took her before a magistrate to record her statement under CrPC Section 164.
During the trial, the court relied on two prosecution witnesses — the girl and her mother. The mother deposed before the court that on September 9 she attended a parents-teachers meeting at the girl’s school. When she confronted her daughter about her poor performance, the girl started weeping before suggesting that she had faced sexual assault.
During cross-examination, the mother deposed that she had scolded her daughter for making “false allegations” against her father. The girl replied that that her parents “fought all the time”, due to which her studies “were getting affected”, the court noted.
After hearing all submissions, the court noted that the material witness has not supported the case and has deposed that her father did nothing wrong. “After watching the TV show Savdhan India, the girl felt that her father was doing something wrong by kissing her on the cheek and the neck,” the court noted.
The court also took into account the report where her vaginal examination was found to be normal. “There is no medical or scientific evidence to support the prosecution case… In the light of the deposition, it cannot be held that the minor was sexually assaulted… and the accused is acquitted of the charges,” said special Judge Barthwal.