An Indian court has acquitted a man of charges of raping a minor in 2015 after her family refused her undergoing a medical examination.
The accused was arrested in 2015 after the complainant, the parents of the minor who was three years at the time, filed a report alleging that the defendant had sexually assaulted their daughter.
Effectively, the accused who was 23 at the time, spent six years in prison awaiting the court’s verdict.
Parents opposed to minor’s medical examination
“The prosecution has failed to bring the girl to give evidence when she was very much with parents, who always attended court.
Defence advocate rightly submitted that the father of the girl has delayed trial, rather he has driven the course of the trial to see that the accused is kept behind the bar for a longer period and ultimately refused to bring the girl to lead evidence,” Judge Priti Kumar Ghule said.
In their appeal, the girl’s parents said they did decline a medical examination because the minor had already moved on and “forgotten about it.”
According to their court papers, the girl and her mother had reportedly gone to visit their grandmother, where the accused worked as a domestic worker in the same building.
They claimed that the defendant called the girl as she was riding a bicycle, led her to the fourth floor where he allegedly defiled her.
Her father reportedly submitted CCTV footage that showed the minor climbing down the stairs after a short while in a not “scared or crying” manner.
In his defense, the accused dismissed the video, saying that the girl was the one who followed her as he went about his duties although he sent her back downstairs.
The court nullified the footage, reasoning that “only because the accused and the girl were seen going on the staircase for a couple of seconds, it cannot mean that she was sexually assaulted.”
It further faulted the mother who in the police statements, had allegedly answered questions on behalf of the purported victim. Further, the child is said to have been accompanied by a caretaker even during that visit, yet the caretaker was not presented as a witness in the case.