Rape accused acquitted after minor victim remains untraceable

Thane: The district court here has acquitted a 25-year-old labourer in a case involving the rape of a 12-year-old girl, after the victim remained untraceable.

In his order on January 18, district and special POCSO judge P P Jadhav said the prosecution had failed to prove the charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act against alleged accused Rajendra Nishad.

Additional public prosecutor Vivek Kadu informed the court that the victim, a native of Behasariya in Uttar Pradesh, was living with her father and elder sister and they would earn their livelihood by dancing at weddings and begging.

The victim ran away from home in March 2015, taking a train to Mumbai from Gorakhpur, and met the accused and his family enroute, he said.

Nishad's wife told the victim that he would help her look for a house, following which the accused put her up in a flat at Bhiwandi town of Maharashtra's Thane district, where he allegedly raped her on several occasions, Kadu said.

After she confided in a neighbour about the abuse, the victim was taken to the police station to lodge a complaint, but the accused, who was present there, threatened her.

The victim, who was initially placed in the custody of the Child Welfare Committee in Bhiwandi, was later sent to CWC in Uttar Pradesh.

In his order, the judge noted that even after giving ample opportunity, the prosecution had failed to secure presence of the victim to depose as a witness.

The court also observed that the medical evidence did not support the prosecution's story.

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