August 7, 2021 4:19:25 am
A special court earlier this week acquitted a 70-year-old man from charges of raping a nine-year-old girl on the ground that the testimony of the minor is not cogent and was made “under the influence” of her mother.
According to the prosecution, the man was booked on charges of rape and under POCSO Act in 2019 based on the complaint of the mother, who said he had raped the minor when she went to hide at his house while playing hide and seek. The accused had denied the allegations stating that a false complaint was filed as the girl’s mother had a grudge against him.
During the trial, seven witnesses, including the girl, her mother, the medical officer and two police officers were examined.
The court said that in the absence of medical evidence and independent witnesses, including other children playing with the girl, the case could not be based only on the girl’s testimony as it had many inconsistencies.
It said the girl, during her cross-examination, had said that she had hid at the house of the accused twice and left within a minute when the alleged incident is said to have taken place. It relied on the evidence to say that while the girl was touched by the accused, it was not with a sexual intent. The court also said the girl had said that she gave a statement based on what her mother told her after a quarrel with the accused. It added that it is common that a mother would quarrel with a neighbour if her child is scolded for playing.
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