Man acquitted of rape charge after spending 4-and-half years behind bars

Published on Sep 24, 2022 08:00 PM IST

Mumbai: A 33-year-old Kandivali resident who was arrested around four and half years ago for impregnating a minor girl, a special POCSO court acquitted him of all the charges, holding that the victim was above 18 years of age and the relationship between the two was consensual

HT Image
HT Image

Mumbai: A 33-year-old Kandivali resident who was arrested around four and half years ago for impregnating a minor girl, a special POCSO court acquitted him of all the charges, holding that the victim was above 18 years of age and the relationship between the two was consensual.

The Kandivali police had booked the 33-year-old man based on the complaint lodged by the minor girl for sexual assaults between December 2017 and March 2018 and impregnated her. The girl alleged that when the first incident took place in December 2017, when she resisted, he threatened her to not reveal anything to anyone and after that, he frequently visited her house while she was alone and sexually assaulted her.

As per the prosecution case, on April 31, 2018, when she was sleeping in her house and her parents noticed that her stomach was bloated, they took her to a hospital for a check-up, and she was found to be pregnant. After this, she confided in her mother, and the parents took her to the police station and lodged a complaint against the accused, their neighbour. He was arrested by the police on September 12, 2018, and since his arrest, he has been in prison.

During the trial, the survivor was declared hostile and she deposed that she knew the accused and that he was her neighbour. She also said that they were in a relationship and both wanted to marry, but her father was against the marriage.

She however said that she did not remember when the physical relationship between her and the accused started. She specifically admitted the relationship between her and the accused was consensual, and that the accused was ready to marry her.

The prosecution, however, heavily relied on the DNA profiling report which confirmed that the accused was the biological father of the baby boy delivered by the survivor. The court, however, noted that there was no oral and documentary evidence on record to show the exact date of birth of the survivor and that she was minor on the date of the incident. “Therefore, the prosecution has failed to prove that the victim was below 18 years of age in December 2017,” the special POCSO court concluded.

“It can, therefore, be said that the victim was above 18 years of age. Admittedly there was a consensual relationship between the victim and the accused. Both the victim and accused wanted to marry. In such circumstances it cannot be said that the accused has committed rape on the victim girl,” the special court observed and acquitted the man, who has already spent four-and-half years in prison.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Charul Shah is senior reporter covering the legal beat for Hindustan Times. She has spent over a decade in the industry covering criminal investigations and judiciary from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, December 02, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals