Thane court pulls up minor girl for falsely accusing father of rape
In a rare instance, the Thane sessions court on Thursday issued perjury proceedings against a minor girl for filing a false complaint of molestation against her father in August 2013. The girl had confessed in her depositions that she filed a false complaint. Her father has been in jail for the past three years.
Special judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act Mridula VK Bhatia, on Thursday ordered to send the girl to the juvenile justice board for further proceedings. “A strong message should go to the society that the provisions of POCSO Act should not be misused. The complainant was admittedly a major at the time of the deposition,” observed the judge, while passing an order and acquitting the father.
The prosecution had alleged that the girl’s father was residing in Navi Mumbai and was working in Bhandup. It was stated that the girl had resided with her grandparents in UP since her birth. She shifted in June 2013 to stay with her parents along with her three sisters and a brother.
In August 2013, the girl alleged that one night when she was sleeping with her parents, her father came to her and molested her. After a few days, she alleged her father stripped her at night and raped her five times.
In April 2014, based on the complaint of the girl who was 16 years old at the time, a case of rape and sexual abuse was registered under POCSO.
The trial began in 2016, where the public prosecutor SE Phad examined two witnesses — the girl and the investigating officer. Both the witnesses were cross examined by defence lawyers Pankaj Kawale and SD Kavathekar.
During cross examination, the girl admitted she had filed a false complaint against her father because if a fight she had with him that day. The prosecutor hence had prayed for the action for perjury — offence for giving false statement on oath before court.
While considering the plea of prosecution, the court observed, “As per section 22 of the POCSO Act, if a child being less than 16 years makes a false complaint or provides false information, then no punishment shall be imposed on such child. However, where a false complaint has been made or false information has been provided by any child being more than 16 years, and it is proved that the complaint was made or information was provided with her own informed decision, in such a case, the child shall be sent to the Juvenile Justice Board constituted under section 4 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act, 2002, for suitable action.”
Ordering action against the girl the judge observed, “The complainant in this case has undoubtedly misused the provisions of the POCSO Act and lodged a false complaint against her own father, thereby causing him grave hardship and mental agony and trauma. He has spent close to three years in jail owing to serious allegations levelled against him.”