24-yr-old man acquitted of raping, abducting minor: ‘Possibility of victim giving statement under pressure’

A 24-year-old man was acquitted of charges of raping and kidnapping a minor after eight years, with the court observing that the possibility of the girl giving a statement against him under pressure from her father cannot be ruled out. It was claimed before the court that the man and the girl were in a relationship, which the father disapproved of as both belonged to different castes.

The court also held that the minor stating that a “bad act” was committed by the accused was not sufficient to construe that he had sexually assaulted her.

The man was booked in 2013 on charges of rape, kidnapping and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. It was claimed that in March 2013, the girl had failed to return from school and her father had filed a missing persons complaint. A few days later, he was informed that police had found her. In her statement, the girl had said she had met the accused at a bus stop on the day of the incident and she went to Nashik and then Gujarat with him. In her deposition before the court, she said the accused had done a “bad act” with her.

The court, however, held that no evidence was put forth to show that the victim was a minor at the time of the incident. “No need to reiterate that the victim has testified that she went with the accused, but there is no whisper that the accused had forced her or had done any violent act with her. She only stated that he did a bad act with her. Only on the basis of the word “bad act”, it cannot be construed that the accused had physical relations with the victim,” the court said.

It also said the evidence also showed that the victim had not resisted in going with the accused. It also held that copies of letters written by her to the man showed her “inclination” towards him. The court said the accused had raised a defence that he was in a relationship with the girl and her parents were against it as they belonged to different castes.

“So, the possibility of the victim giving a statement against the accused under the pressure of her father cannot be ruled out,” the court said.

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