Finding man guilty, it observed that family was won over due to delay in trial as accused was father of victim
A Dinsdoshi special court designated for sexual offences on children recently directed the District Legal Aid Services Authority and the concerned police station to recover the compensation amount of Rs. 3 lakh given to a rape victim as part of the government’s Manodhairya scheme for victims of sexual assault, as the victim did not support the prosecution case in court.
Special Judge AD Deo also noted in the judgment, “The present is an appropriate case to direct prosecution of the informant (victim)..for tendering false evidence. But considering that the informant is minor when incident took place and FIR was lodged, she may now have been married and settled into a new life, all of which may possibly be jeopardised, hence I refrain from directing her prosecution which I would otherwise be inclined to order.”
The victim, who was 18 years old when she deposed before court, as well as her mother and elder sister did not support the prosecution case of sexual assault. The judgment relied on the statement of the medical officer who deposed in the case and narrated the history of sexual assault as stated to him in 2015 by the victim when she had been brought to him for medical examination by the police. The court said about the medical officer that he is an ‘independent expert witness’ and that there was no reason to disbelieve him.
It also took into account the statement the victim had given before a magistrate in 2015, as such statements are considered voluntary and given without pressure. A social worker from an NGO also testified in support of the prosecution case regarding the facts of the case as told to her by the victim.
Judge Deo sentenced he 49-year-old father of the victim to 12-years in jail after finding him guilty of penetrative sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The court found that the man had indeed repeatedly sexual assaulted the girl since she was in Class 6, around 11 years of age, till she was 16 years old and had threatened her not to reveal the matter, or he would discontinue her studies.
Finding the man guilty in spite of the star witnesses turning hostile, the judgment noted, “It is apparent..that because of their inter-se relation with the accused, they are won over by sheer passage of time and the consequent delay in trial. But that itself cannot come to the aid of the accused in view of the nature of the evidence available against him..”