Kochi: The Kerala High Court has warned of the misuse of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to implicate innocent.
Fake POCSO cases continue to haunt the accused endlessly even if they are acquitted by the courts. The situation is more grave if the accused happen to be parents, stated a division bench of the High Court consisting Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice C Jayachandran while setting aside the life imprisonment awarded by a POCSO court in Kalpetta to the father of a seven-year-old girl who was accused of sexually harassing the child.
The complaint of sexual harassment pertains to 2015.
The high court division bench considered the appeal filed by the accused who was sentenced to life by trial court on August 30, 2016. The court had conducted the probe appointing an amicus curiae and found that the complaint was not correct.
After the death of the first wife of the accused, the child was staying with his second wife. The case was filed as part of the second wife’s attempt to throw him out of the house. The child was tutored to give false statements against her father, the counsel for the accused argued.
Though in POCSO cases the statements of the girls are generally accepted, in this case the court evaluated certain doubts. There were inconsistencies in the statements given by the stepmother of the girl.
The police had recorded the incident by asking questions to the girl and getting her answers. The medical evidence produced could not vindicate the allegations.
The court said that the accused is being acquitted by granting benefit of doubt.