Hours after minor deposes, POCSO accused ‘jumps’ to death in Mumbaihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/mumbai-after-minor-identifies-him-in-court-pocso-accused-jumps-to-death-5782617/

Hours after minor deposes, POCSO accused ‘jumps’ to death in Mumbai

After the hearing, the accused went towards the water cooler outside courtroom number 12 on the sixth floor of the building. Officials said that without warning, he pushed away the police constable who was holding his arm and jumped down the corridor.

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The body was taken to Siddharth Hospital for a post-mortem. A case of accidental death was registered at Kurar police station. (Representational)

A 25-YEAR-old undertrial allegedly fell to his death from the sixth-floor corridor of the sessions court building in Dindoshi on Saturday afternoon. The man, facing trial on charges of sexually abusing a boy in 2015, allegedly jumped off the building within an hour of the minor deposing against him in court.

According to officials at the Dindoshi sessions court, the accused, who was lodged at Arthur Road jail since the incident in 2015, was brought to court around 11 am for the hearing. The minor deposed an hour before the court’s lunch break at 2 pm and his cross-examination resumed at 2.45 pm and continued for another hour, during which he also identified the accused as his attacker when asked to do so.

After the hearing, the accused went towards the water cooler outside courtroom number 12 on the sixth floor of the building. Officials said that without warning, he pushed away the police constable who was holding his arm and jumped down the corridor.

“The minor answered all questions very clearly and stuck to the statement recorded with the magistrate earlier under Section 164 of the CrPC. The accused appeared to be scared that the deposition went well and might have thought that he was sure to be convicted,” said an officer at Powai police station. So far, the court has examined two witnesses, the minor and his father.

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The body was taken to Siddharth Hospital for a post-mortem. A case of accidental death was registered at Kurar police station. An official said police is inquiring into the sequence of events that led to the accused’s death and speaking to witnesses on the sixth floor, apart from police constables who had escorted him from jail.

Lawyer Sunanda Nandewar, representing the accused, said she had not interacted with him after the hearing but spoke to him before. Nandewar said he did not show any signs of disturbance then and only asked her if any of his family members had come to meet him. Nandewar said the accused’s family included his mother, younger brother and a sister, who is married. She said while his mother visited him earlier, she had not been coming for court hearings for over a year owing to ill-health.

In 2015, the accused was working as a staffer in a Powai school. According to the prosecution, on Decemebr 9 that year, he had sexually abused the five-year-old student in the school toilet, which he was in-charge of. The prosecution claimed that after school that day, when the boy’s mother noticed that he had not eaten the food in his tiffin box and asked him the reason, he told her about the alleged incident. The boy’s parents approached the school management and an FIR was filed at Powai police station. The accused was arrested the same night from his home in Mumbai. He was facing trial on charges including Section 377 (unnatural sex) of the IPC and three sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

In a bail application in October 2016, the accused had claimed he was falsely implicated stating that the school has staff around the children at all times, including four attendants in-charge of the toilets.