The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of a man under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences?(POCSO) Actfor sexually assaulting a minor girl. The judgement was delivered recently by Justice Abhay Thipsay who dismissed the appeal filed by Yogesh A. M., challenging the 3-year sentence and Rs 2,000 fine awarded to him by a special court.
According to the prosecution, the victim’s family and Yogesh were neighbours in a Mumbai building. On May 6, 2013, when some neighbouring children, including the victim, went to his house, he made the other children sit in the drawing room and watch TV and took the victim to another room where he sexually assaulted her.
The girl ran home crying and narrated the incident to her mother. A police complaint was lodged on the same day and Yogesh was arrested. The court dismissed Yogesh’s argument that the police didn’t record the victim’s statement immediately, it was recorded only after the charge sheet was filed and therefore it was not credible.
“It appears that the victim was taken to the police station. In all probability, she was questioned and enquiries?were made with her but apparently her statement was not?recorded (in writing) due to pure inadvertence,” the court said. If the investigating officer does not record the statement of a person immediately during the probe, there is no “illegality’”, the judge observed, upholding the conviction.