CHENNAI: Madras High Court has acquitted an Army jawan, five years after he was convicted for penetrative sexual assault of a minor girl, finding that charges were not proved with medical evidence.
Justice Sathi Kumar Sukumara Kurup passed the orders on an appeal filed by the jawan setting aside the conviction and setting him free.
The jawan, staying at an apartment in Chennai, was accused by his colleague’s wife that he had sexually assaulted her 12-year-old daughter on August 28, 2014. Based on the woman’s complaint, the police registered an FIR and arrested him.
The mahila court for Pocso Act cases sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment on February 27, 2018. Challenging the conviction, the accused filed an appeal petition in the high court. His counsel contended that the complaint was filed with a motive arising out of personal issues between the accused and the “victim’s” mother.
After perusing material evidence and statements, the judge found that the charge of penetrative sexual assault was not corroborated with medical evidence. “When there is lack of materials, the presumption, if mechanically applied under these circumstances, will result in miscarriage of justice,” the judge said and set aside the conviction order describing it as ‘perverse’.
Similarly, Justice Kurup also set aside another order of conviction of a man in a Pocso Act case registered in Salem district. The petitioner, Raj Kannan, was accused of sexually assaulting the minor daughter of his live-in partner on February 1, 2014. But the woman lodged the complaint only on May 16, 2014. Finding the evidence testified by the victim’s mother as ‘unbelievable’ and the trial judge ‘miserably failing’ to appreciate the available evidence, the judge held the conviction was ‘perverse’.