Another case of sexual assault on a minor fell through as the seven-year-old 'victim' denied having been raped by her father. "Unidentified persons wearing black clothes took me away from the house where I was sleeping by my father's side. They were thieves. I do not remember if they have done anything wrong with me," stated the girl in her statement before additional district and sessions judge Shalini S Nagpal.
The victim had, on March 24, in the presence of police and doctors who had examined her, told her mother that her father had raped her. In fact, the mother had already turned hostile. "I had never made any allegations. Police had made me sign blank papers. I had agreed to sign after they told me that these pertain to free medical treatment of the child," the mother testified before the court on Tuesday, retracting her statement that her husband, a cobbler, had abducted and raped their daughter near their house in Colony No 4 while he was drunk.
The backing out of the girl and the mother may seem like relief to the accused, but the matter now depends on forensic evidence. The report from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) is awaited. "Even as the mother and the victim have turned hostile, we have a chance to prove the guilt with the help of the CFSL report," said public prosecutor Manu Kakkar.
This is at least the sixth such case this year in the UT. "The child is depended on the parents.
There is a lot of pressure from within the family, besides social stigma," said advocate TS Sudan, a human rights activist. Another lawyer, Amit Kumar, opined, "Financial dependence is also a major reason for cases of sexual exploitation by relatives falling through."