What do you feel when you hear that a young girl has been raped by three different men? Disgust and angst are the front runners when it comes to emotions for such stories. However, how do you feel when you hear that a mother either concocted a false story of rape for her own daughter or later turned hostile with an out of court settlement with the alleged accused? Our degree of anger should be much higher for such instances.
- A POCSO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) court in Jhunjhunu (Jaipur) on Tuesday convicted a 45-year-old woman and sentenced her to one month’s simple imprisonment for turning hostile after filing a false case of gang-rape of her ‘minor’ daughter by three people
- In 2017, the mother initially complained that her ‘minor’ daughter was abducted and raped by a man named Maniram
- The girl added two more names in her statement, informing the court that she was also raped by Nekiram and Pradeep Kajla
- According to public prosecutor Lokendra Singh Shekhawat, the police was ordered to take action against all three accused
- All of them were nabbed and booked under POCSO Act and then a new twist unfolded
- The mother suddenly turned hostile and informed court that her daughter was never abducted nor raped
- She also informed the magistrate that her daughter had gone to her aunt’s home without informing the parents
- Adding another shocking revelation the woman told court, that her daughter was not even a minor at the time of filing the FIR in 2017
- The woman said she was illiterate and thus unaware of the contents in the official complaint handed over to the police
- After the woman submitted her revised statement, all three were acquitted by the court on November 11 this year
- Later the public prosecutor submitted a fresh application in court to initiate action against the woman under IPC Section 193
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Observations of the Court
- POCSO court special judge Sukesh Kumar Jain put the woman on notice on Tuesday and convicted her for giving false evidence
- The judge said that the woman was fully aware of what statement she had given initially, however, she has now turned hostile because of a probable out-of-court settlement
It appears that these people use legal proceedings as tools and later turn hostile in greed. In case of minor girls, whether sex is consensual or without consent, the punishment is the same. In this particular case, since the mother, who took a U-turn failed to give a valid reason, she must face punishment.
In the ruling, Jain also said he had found that in more than 50% of POCSO cases, the complainants turn hostile during the trial. He pointed out how they negate the statements given in the FIR and those given before magistrates under section 164 of the CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure].
The judge also said the reason for people turning hostile in POCSO and Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act cases was the stringent punishment prescribed under the laws. Jain concluded,
To save oneself from the punishment, the accused reach out-of-court settlements with the complainants.
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