MUMBAI: A 37-year-old man who spent three years in jail after being accused of repeatedly raping the 14-year-old daughter of his friend was acquitted by a special Pocso court after it observed that the statements of the alleged victim and her mother were “unbelievable”. The accused was living with the family for over eight years and the minor’s father had died four years before the alleged incident. The accused claimed that he was falsely implicated as the women did not like the fact that he was strict and enforced discipline in the household. Acquitting him, the court said the minor’s account of rape with respect to day, date and time of the incidents, was vague. “In the background of contradictions and improvement in the prosecution evidence… oral evidence of prosecution witness (PW) one (minor) and two (mother) does not inspire confidence. Delay of one year and four months in approaching police after the incident of rape also affects the credibility of evidence of PW one and two,” the court said. While the alleged incidents of rape took place in 2017 when the mother was away, the FIR was registered in 2018. The minor claimed that the accused had threatened her and that initially her mother did not believe her. However, the court said that it appeared strange that after serious incidents of rape, the girl remained silent due to fear of accused but after the incidents of inappropriate touch she disclosed the facts to her mother who immediately approached the police. “In the background of this fact also evidence of PW one and two appears unbelievable,” the court said. The court further said that it was not proved that the girl was a minor. The court said, “As per victim’s evidence it appears that incident of rape occurred in day time, then question arises as to how she was present in the house when she was doing a job. Considering these aspects, the prosecution should have brought on record exact date and time of incidents of rape,” the court said.

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