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Man accused of sexually assaulting minor girl in Thane acquitted after victim turns hostile

The Special POCSO court held that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against the accused, who needs to be given the benefit of doubt.

THANE: A court in Maharashtra's Thane district has acquitted a 31-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a minor girl in 2019 after the victim and her mother turned hostile.

Special POCSO court judge V V Virkar, in the order passed on February 4, held that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against the accused, who needs to be given the benefit of doubt.

A copy of the order was made available on Sunday.

The prosecution alleged that on November 17, 2019, the man, resident of Thakurpada in Kalwa area of Thane, sexually assaulted and harassed the girl, then aged 13 and residing in the same area.

The accused on several earlier occasions followed the girl, made advances towards her and touched her inappropriately, the prosecution claimed.

The man was booked under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

However, defense counsels contested the charges and told the court that all the allegations against the accused were false and baseless.

The judge in her order said as far as the contents of the complaint or happening of the incident are concerned, the testimony of the investigation officer "cannot be said to be of any use to the prosecution and such contents can be said to be proved only upon the evidence of the prosecutrix or her mother to whom she narrated the incident."

"But as is clear, the prosecutrix and her mother did not support the prosecution case and turned hostile, there is nothing on record to establish the allegations as mentioned in the complaint," she said.

Hence, none of the allegations can be held to have been proved against the accused, the court said, while acquitting him of all charges in the case.

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