New Delhi: A school workshop on dos and don’ts for a girl child when faced with molestation gave courage to a student to move the police against an abusive father and get justice from a court for herself, her sister and mother. Unable to get a case registered due to police apathy to stop her father from abusing them, the 17-year-old lodged a false FIR of molestation against the father.
Despite this, the court lauded the girl's courage to approach the police against her father and truthfully revealing the actual reason behind levelling the serious charge of molestation in the hope of getting some respite from the father who used to beat them up after getting drunk. The court noted that the girl had admitted to lodging a false case as the police was not taking any action despite repeated complaints. It also noted that she had learnt about the seriousness of the offence of molestation at a workshop in her school.
"A perusal of the deposition of the prosecutrix (girl) would reveal that though she admitted having written the complaint at the police station in the presence of her mother, she also deposed that she has lodged a false case of molestation after a workshop was organised in her school where it was told that molestation cases are taken seriously. She deposed that her father was abusive and used to beat her mother in a drunken condition and the police were not taking any action against him despite their repeated complaints," the court noted.
The girl also told the court that on learning that molestation cases are taken seriously, she lodged a false complaint to the police so that some action is taken against her father. "In fact no such incident of molestation, as alleged by her in her complaint and her statement recorded, had taken place," Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja observed.
The man was acquitted of the charges of molestation under the IPC and sexual harassment under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, but held guilty of the offences of assaulting and threatening his wife and two minor daughters. The girl won the heart of the judge who said it was her "sheer helplessness" on seeing her mother's plight that drove her to make such allegations.
The father has been released on probation with a direction to maintain good conduct for one year on a bond of Rs 25,000 with a surety of like amount, failing which he may be sentenced to jail. "The sheer helplessness of the daughter on seeing the plight of her mother drove her to level allegations of molestation against her own father, in the hope that they would receive some respite upon intervention by the police," the judge said.
"It must be borne in mind that the child gathered courage to approach the police and deposed about the sufferings of herself and her mother and truthfully stated to the court the actual reason for levelling serious allegations of molestation against her father. In these circumstances, I find that the credit of the witness has thus not been completely shaken as a whole and her deposition with regard to the allegations of beatings and criminal intimidation at the hands of their own father cannot be totally discarded and must be given due weightage despite the fact that prosecutrix and her mother were both declared hostile witnesses by the prosecution," the judge said.
The prosecution said the girl and her mother had approached the police alleging that on the night of August 15-16, 2015, her father had molested and threatened her. However, during the proceedings before the court, she resiled from her statement and deposed that her father was abusive and used to beat her mother in a drunken state and the police was not taking any action against him.
The mother of the girl also deposed on similar lines and said that on August 15, 2015, when her husband was heavily drunk and was beating her, her daughter came there and pushed him, following which he started abusing both of them. "From the facts of the present case, it thus emerges that the children and the wife of the accused were being abused by him both physically, verbally and emotionally, if not sexually, as alleged by the girl initially.”
"In the light of the said evidence, I find that the offence punishable under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC have been proved to have been committed by the accused," the judge said. During the trial, the accused denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated by his daughter as she was disturbed by the dispute between him and his wife.