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Key Takeaways

  • Conviction in POCSO cases can be based solely on a child's statement

Background

  • An appeal was filed by a Pollachi driver, K Ruban, challenging the prison term given to him on two counts of charges by a special court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in a child sexual assault case.
  • The appellant contended that there were contradictions in the case of the prosecution and there was no independent witness to corroborate the alleged occurrence.
  • He also claimed that he was away from the place of occurrence on the said dates of the incident as he ferried passengers on his transport vehicle to Valparai then to Palani.

Observations

  • The judge said that the defence had failed to substantiate the alibi with concrete documentary evidence and the contention of the absence of independent witness cannot be accepted because the victim’s statement is enough.
  • He noted that the 11-year-old girl had clearly spoken about the incident, and the manner in which the offence was committed by the appellant, which is cogent, consistent and trustworthy and this court does not find any reason to disbelieve or discard her statement.
  • “In the absence of any compelling circumstances to disbelieve the evidence of the victim, this court finds that her evidence inspires its confidence,” the judge said.

Order

  • The special court for POCSO cases in Coimbatore punished Ruban with seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5000 under section 9 (m) 9 (n) and three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5000 under Section 11 (i) and ordered him to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the girl.

Questions

  1. What are your views on this judgement?
  2. Do you think a child’s statement is enough?
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