‘There Is A Difference In The Nature Of Allegations Made By The Victim Girl And That Made By Her Parents.’ : Calcutta HC

The single-judge bench consisting of Justice Tirthankar Ghosh of the Calcutta High Court in the case of X v. The State of West Bengal (CRA SB 125 of 2022) has set aside the conviction of an accused in a case under the POCSO Act on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove the ‘sexual intent’ being involved in the act of the accused as referred under Section 11 of the Act.

Facts of the Case:

According to the facts of the case, the victim’s father filed a complaint stating that his 13-year-old daughter was returning home on June 6, 2016, when the accused appeared in front of her, pulled her down from her bicycle, and tried to cover her face with an ill-motive. On the basis of the complaint, a criminal case was filed against the appellant accused under Sections 8 (Punishment for sexual assault), 12 (Punishment for sexual harassment) of the POCSO Act, and 354 (Assault of criminal force on a woman with intent to insult her modesty) of the IPC. On July 25, 2022, the Trial Court found the accused guilty under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and sentenced him to three years in jail and a fine of Rs.5,000/-. The appellant challenged the trial court’s impugned decision, order, conviction, and sentence in the High Court.

Judgment Review:

The court said that the parents of the girl have exaggerated their versions to the extent that in the complaint it was alleged by the father (PW3) of the victim girl that with an ill motive the accused tried to cover her face and subsequently while deposing before the court he narrated in respect of pulling down of the wearing pant and touching the sensitive parts of the body of the victim. “Assessment of the evidence of PW3 and PW4 reveal that they have exaggerated their versions so that the provisions of the POCSO Act can be attracted,” said the court, while acquitting the convict.

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