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Mumbai Crime: In a first, POCSO accused gets bail even before charge sheet filed

Updated on: 11 March,2023 07:19 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Court accepts argument of lawyer for accused who pointed to animosity between child’s family, accused over water connection as reason for case

Mumbai Crime: In a first, POCSO accused gets bail even before charge sheet filed

The child had complained of a stomach ache on Jan 6 and was diagnosed with an infection. Representation pic

A 45-year-old Vakola resident has been granted bail by the sessions court in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case even before the charge sheet has been submitted. The plaintiff and the accused have a history of animosity, according to the court. The child, who is three years old, has a rape complaint against the accused that her mother has filed under POCSO.

As per the bail application filed by the accused, the mother lodged a complaint on January 28 this year. She said that her daughter used to go to the house of the accused, who lives in the neighbourhood, to play with his sons. On January 6, at around 1.30 pm, the child allegedly came from the house of the accused and complained of pain in her private parts and stomach. The mother took the girl to the hospital where doctors diagnosed an infection.

Scared of accused

The child did not speak of sexual assault to her at the time but as per the FIR, on January 26, when the complainant took the child for a pooja along with her husband the child got scared on seeing the accused and insisted that her mother take her back home. “On enquiry, the victim stated that she is scared of the accused as he removed her underwear, touched her private parts, inserted his finger and fondled her. The child further stated that the accused has committed the act on two occasions. The complainant went to confront the accused and he threatened to kidnap the victim. Hence, the complaint was filed,” the court order reads.

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‘Accused was in office’

Advocate Ajay Lad who appeared for the accused argued that his client, who works with a leading oil company as a technician, was falsely framed in the case as he was in the office when the said incident as alleged to have happened by the girl. “There is a delay of two days in filing the FIR, even after the girl revealed the incident to the complainant,” Lad argued before the court.

He further argued that there is a common water pipeline with two separate taps and the connection is registered in the name of the complainant’s father-in-law. However, it is mostly the accused who pays the bills and there are frequent quarrels over it. The complainant wants to defame the accused, therefore on January 30 a news report was published by the complainant in a local newspaper. 

Prosecution objects to bail

The prosecution objected to the bail application of the accused only on grounds that he is a neighbour and if bail is granted, he may threaten and influence the witnesses in the case. The court heard both sides and accepted the bail application of the accused. The court while granting bail observed, “The accused has relied on the attendance report of the company, according to which on January 6 he was working from 8.16 am till 7.41 pm. He has also relied on the certificate issued by the company and police from time to time submitted at his office.”

“The counsel for the accused has submitted that the victim reported the pain and was taken to the hospital on January 6 itself. But, she has not disclosed the incident to her mother or doctor examining her and this creates doubt in the case of prosecution. He also contended that even if it is believed that the victim disclosed the incident on January 26 to the complainant, then why was the complaint filed on January 28, i.e. after two days,” the court observed further.

“The complainant contends that the victim got scared on seeing the accused at the time of the pooja. However, he is the neighbour of the victim and it is not possible that she had not seen the accused for 20 days,” the court order reads.

Court notes reasons

The court has also noted that there is animosity between the accused and the complainant over a common water pipe connection. While granting bail, the court imposed stringent conditions on the accused that he should not tamper with evidence or influence witnesses and shall not leave the jurisdiction of the court without permission.

“The POCSO law is the most misused, obviously because of the sensitivity of such cases. Particularly in this case, the complaint is concocted and filed due to animosity. Thus, it creates doubt about the veracity of the allegations levelled against my client,” Lad told mid-day.

Age of the child

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