Mumbai: Victim Dying Of Cancer Before Testifying Is Not A Ground For Acquittal Of Accused; Decision Of Special POCSO Court

Mumbai, 28th October 2022: The death of a minor rape victim from cancer before testifying in the case cannot be a reason for the acquittal of the accused. Also, for this reason, he cannot be released with the benefit of the doubt, remarked the special court constituted under the Prevention of Sexual Offenses on Children Act (POCSO). At the same time, the court convicted the accused in the case of rape and sentenced him to ten years of imprisonment. Circumstantial evidence and the victim girl’s statement before the Metropolitan Magistrate were taken into account by Special Court Judge Preeti Ghule while convicting the accused.

The death of the victim means that all the charges against the accused cannot be dismissed. There is no question of doubting the testimony of the victim girl, the court mentioned while convicting the accused. The court mainly considered the medical report of the victim girl. During the trial, the victim girl was diagnosed with cancer and was admitted to the hospital. Consequently, her testimony was not recorded. Later, the victim died while the trial related to this case was going on. Consequently, there is no direct evidence against the accused. However, the court said that the accused is being convicted in this case only based on circumstantial evidence and the medical report of the victim.

The victim girl was in good condition when she recorded her statement before the Metropolitan Police. The court noted that she was unable to testify in the trial as she later died after being diagnosed with the disease and during treatment. After the victim’s daughter talked about the abuse by the accused, her mother filed a rape complaint against the accused with the police. The girl has died and her mother has suffered a lot. Therefore, the court has ordered them to pay compensation to her.