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Chandigarh: Child used as ‘scapegoat’ in fake rape case to implicate uncle

Property dispute: Court says girl’s widow mother filed complaint to settle scores with brother-in-law.

punjab Updated: Mar 14, 2018 22:08 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Child used as ‘scapegoat’,fake rape case
Pronouncing the judgment in the sexual assault case on Monday, the court of additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi said the fact that the 14-year-old girl kept changing her statement meant she was bent upon implicating her uncle to settle a civil dispute.  (Representative image )

A special court acquitted a 44-year-old Ram Darbar man of raping his 14-year-old niece, concluding that the victim and her mother had made the allegation to settle scores with the accused in a property dispute.

The court also acquitted the man’s tenant, who was also booked in the case under Sections 354 (sexual harassment) and 354A (making sexually coloured remarks) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 8 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on August 30, 2017.

Both of them worked in a local news organisation while the girl was studying in Class 8 at a government model school in the city. They lived in the same house.

The case was registered at the Sector-31 police station on the complaint of the women’s helpline counsellor. It was alleged that the girl’s paternal uncle and 37-year-old tenant sexually abused her over a month whenever her mother, who worked at a factory, was not at home. The girl has three sisters and her father is deceased.

“So many disputes are going on between the parties and number of people are residing in the same building. It is difficult to believe that two persons would ever go or molest the child.” — Special court

The accused pleaded innocent stating that there was a dispute over their common house. The girl’s mother had filed a civil case regarding it in February 2014 against the main accused (her husband’s elder brother) and mother-in-law. However, the proceedings were dropped a year later.

Another case was initiated before the State legal Service Authority, Chandigarh, in May 2017, levelling allegations of domestic violence against the in-laws. The case is pending. Even on August 30, 2017, when the woman had filed the sexual assault case, a hearing in the domestic violence case had taken place. Police had visited their home a number of times on various complaints by the girl’s mother.

‘Girl made scapegoat to falsely implicate uncle’

Pronouncing the judgment in the sexual assault case on Monday, the court of additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi said the fact that the 14-year-old girl kept changing her statement meant she was bent upon implicating her uncle to settle a civil dispute.

“So many disputes are going on between the parties and number of people are residing in the same building. It is difficult to believe that two persons would ever go or molest the child. The date or time has no where been stated in her application before the police,” observed the court.

The court said it was evident that “the child has been made a scapegoat to falsely implicate the accused in the present case. It is not possible that the child would not tell any police officer during the span of one month when she admits that she used to go for the hearing in the civil dispute. This shows that she was aware as to how the complaints were to be made and she would not tolerate the molestation, if any, for one whole month.”

First Published: Mar 14, 2018 12:43 IST