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No evidence to prove the woman was a minor, says Mumbai court; acquits man in 2013 rape case

In her submission to the court, the woman claimed she was an adult when they began their relationship in 2013.

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2018 22:54 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
The case was lodged by the girl’s father, out of fear that the man had fled(Representational photo)

A sessions court on Tuesday acquitted a 29-year-old embroidery worker, five years after his wife’s father lodged a complaint under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

There is no evidence to prove that she was a minor at the time of their relationship and all evidence indicates that the relationship between the two was consensual, said the bench of judge Surekha Patil.

In her submission to the court, the woman claimed to have been an adult when they began their relationship in 2013.

Her father soon learnt that she was pregnant. After the man said he was willing to marry her, her father insisted on meeting his parents.

A native of Hubli in West Bengal, he went to his village to get his parents. Out of fear that he had fled, the woman’s father lodged a complaint with the Agripada police claiming that his daughter was a minor.

The man was arrested. Shortly after the arrest, the woman gave birth to twin boys, who died 25 days later. He was later released on bail, following which he married the woman with her father’s consent and the couple gave birth to two children.

The court held that the prosecution could neither prove that the woman was a minor at the time of the incident, nor that rape was committed. The girl has studied till Class 10.

“The ossification test revealed that the victim’s age was between 17 and 18 years. From the evidence available, it is revealed that the relationship between her and the accused was consensual,” said the court.

“Being a father, the fear of the informant is natural. Only [because] there is fear in mind of informant, court cannot convict the accused,” the judge said.

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 22:53 IST