Mangaluru: A special court in Mangaluru has directed two woman police sub-inspectors of the Mangaluru women police station to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to an accused for falsely implicating him in a case registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Additional District and Sessions Judge K M Radhakrishna, while acquitting the accused Naveen Sequeira, said, "Before conclusion, I am to make serious remarks with the heavy heart against the police officers PW.6 Smt.Rosamma and PW.8 Smt.Revathi. The blunders they have committed in escaping the real offender and substituting in his place an innocent person indicates the range of their illegality, arbitrariness, misuse of powers and due process of law, the manner in which they have committed the impropriety to the position they are holding while discharging the duty. Indeed, they have made an unconcerned person to be behind bars for no sin he has committed."
The judge further said that "putting an end to this type of lawlessness is a matter of necessity in the interest of healthy society." "If it is permitted to continue, perhaps days are not far away for the common people who are part of the democratic set up to lose their faith in the system".
Observing that accused has been the true victim in the case, the court said:
"I am of the opinion that ensuring the reasonable justice by directing PW.6 & 8 to pay the compensation of Rs.5,00,000, out of their own valet within two months is a matter of an absolute necessity. At the same time, I deem it proper to bring the lawlessness and blunders committed by PW.6 & 8 to the notice of the State Government and intimation to the concerned higher ups for taking necessary action in the matter."
The prosecution case was that a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by her brother's friend Naveen last year. The accused was booked under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and Section 354, 506 of the Indian Penal Code in the case.
The court at the outset noted that the victim filed the complaint before the Mangaluru Women Police Station against her brother's friend Naveen.
Observing that the factum of sexual assault undergone by the victim at the instance of her brother's friend Naveen is not under the challenge, the court said the accused has claimed he was falsely "substituted" by the police for real culprit. The accused remain behind bars for more than one year in the case.
The court said in cases of sexual assault, the victim alone is the best witness than any others to speak the manner in which the incident took place, to identify the real culprit, the place, time and date of the incident etc.
The court further said that as far as the accused is concerned, the victim, her mother and brother are very specific to assert that he is a stranger and no way concerned to the incident in question.
It further said that the victim has clearly specified in her complaint and her statement under Sec.164 of Cr.P.C that her brother's friend Naveen, who was working as a cook with her brother at an eatery, committed the sexual assault.
The judge further said that except for the name of the culprit as Naveen, no other details like his age and address are seen in the oral complaint recorded by police officer Rosamma.
"Thus, naturally the name as seen in the complaint should have been carried out in the FIR as it is in an ordinary course. But the acts of this officer in adding the age as 40 years with the address Thokkottu of Mangalore City, to the name without any basis is evident to say that Pw.6 & 8 have pre-planned to falsely implicate the accused herein and to escape the real offender for reasons they are required to explain," the court said.
Acquitting the accused, the court said by no stretch of imagination, the allegations of the prosecution can be connected to the accused in any manner.
The court directed the registry to forward a copy of the judgement to the Principal Secretary of Home Affairs department for necessary action against the police officers, within two months.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)