A special POCSO court in Mumbai has acquitted a 52-year-old man who spent over two-years in jail after his
neighbour accused him of sexually assaulting her two minor children.
During the course of arguments, the court learnt that the woman had possibly lied accusing her neighbour, who who was also a close family friend, since she was worried of her relationship with another man being exposed.
The husband of the complainant woman works abroad and she lived with her two minor children in Mumbai. The accused man was not just her neighbour of several years, but also her ‘rakhi brother’.
The woman was allegedly close to another man and she had been advised by the accused and his wife not to get involved outside marriage. It was thus that the woman was scared that rumours about her alleged affair might tarnish her reputation.
The children of the complainant would often visit the neighbour’s home to watch television, while the mother would be busy in taking tuitions. On July 17, 2018, the woman said that her daughter came home crying and told her that the accused had sexually assaulted her. While recording the girl’s statement, the police also learnt about her minor son being sexually exploited by the same accused neighbour.
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The two children of the woman were 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, who as per the mother were assaulted between May and July 2018.
The accused man, also a father of two, had dismissed all the charges made against him, however, he was arrested on July 18, 2018 and had been in jail since then.
Observing the statements made by the minor children in court, the judge said it was clear they were speaking what their mother had told them. The court noted:
She has used tactics of using hot spoon touch to control them. She also becomes hyper often. She had blood pressure problem and has scared the children by constant crying and spoiling her health. The children, therefore, due to love for the mother are bound to act as per her say.
Also, the medical evidence did not support the woman’s version. It precisely mentioned that it was not a fit case to blindly believe the complainant and the minors. The court observed:
The evidence is not reliable and trustworthy. In the present case, the principle that even if no injuries are found on the person of prosecutrix, yet the prosecutrix can be relied upon, is not applicable.
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The court also found that on the day of the alleged incident, the minor girl had refused to part with the television remote and the accused grabbed it while she was lying on it. The court stated,
Little boy ‘Y’ and little girl ‘X’ were always pampered by the family of the accused. The touch to her in this background is not sexual. The mother exaggerated the matter of taking away the remote. She already had anger against the accused who gave importance to rumours against her.
The court also termed that the rape charge was to fabricate a critical offence against him.
With regards to her personal relationships, the court mentioned that the woman is an independent individual, and hence, she had a right to keep in contact with anyone and she was not answerable to anybody. The court even added that it was natural for the woman to be upset over hearing her close neighbours warning her to distance herself from another man, than disbelieving the rumours.