In this post we will discuss about Acquittal in POCSO case due to ‘Unnatural’ delay in FIR wherein An “unnatural” year-and-a-half delay in lodging FIR led to the acquittal of a 42-year-old deputy income tax commissioner accused of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old domestic help in 2017.
I-T official let off in POSCO case due to ‘Unnatural’ delay in FIR
An “unnatural” year-and-a-half delay in lodging FIR has led to the acquittal of a 42-year-old deputy income tax commissioner accused of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old domestic help in 2017. The question was raised by special Pocso Act court that why was FIR not filed immediately after the incident by her family member who was employed in the maternal house of the wife of the accused for decades. The accused was arrested in 2018 but granted bail. In 2016, the minor and her sister had come to the city to live with the accused and his wife so that they could help in taking of their daughter. They were set to join a school and pursue further studies. Later in 2017, they went back to their village. The minor claimed that the accused threatened to release her nude pictures if she complained to anybody. The accused and his wife were in the midst of divorce proceedings. He had alleged that he was falsely implicated by the wife and her politically connected family.
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DECISION BY POSCO ACT COURT
The court observed that while it was probable the girl’s character wouldn’t have been put at stake because of a dispute between couple, the conduct of the prosecution witnesses and delay in lodging FIR created doubt in prosecution’s case. “Even if the accused has threatened to make viral her nude photographs for molesting her, the question remines as to why the investigation officer had not made any inquiry or seized the phone of accused to verify if he has nude photograph of minor” the court said
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There is no time constraint fixed by legislature or the judiciary for giving the information of crime to the police. However, it has been observed that FIR has to be filed within reasonable time. The question of reasonable time being matter is for determination of court in each case. Mere delay in lodging the FIR with the police is not necessarily a matter of law, fatal to prosecution.
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The delay must fall for consideration on all the facts and circumstances of the case. Although delay in filing FIR does not result in quashing the FIR but nevertheless gives rise to suspicion which puts the court on guard to look for the possible motive.
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An “unnatural” year-and-a-half delay in lodging a FIR has led to the acquittal of a 42-year-old deputy income tax commissioner accused of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old domestic help in 2017he POSCO court questioned about not filing complaint regarding the incident. The conduct of the prosecution witnesses and delay in lodging FIR created doubt in prosecution’s case.
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This post is written by Chathurya
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