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Supreme Court issues notice on plea challenging conviction of teacher under POCSO Act

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The Supreme Court has issued notice on a petition challenging the Madras High Court‘s conviction of a teacher for the sexual assault on a student under the POCSO Act.

A Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh has issued notice on the Special Leave Petition as well as on the prayer for bail.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that the statement of the victim recorded under Section 164 of CrPC was not substantive evidence, but that alone has been used to convict the petitioner, when all the witnesses have turned hostile.

The petitioner argued that the judgments of the Trial Court and the Appellate Court were perverse as the conviction was recorded and the sentence was not based on any evidence.

According to the complaint filed by the survivor’s father, the 10-year-old was studying in 4th Standard in a government school, where the petitioner was working as a teacher.

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It was alleged that on October 25, 2019 and November 4, 2019, the teacher took the child to a small lane situated by the side of the school building and touched her breast.

The petitioner pointed out that the father of the girl, who made the complaint to the police, has turned hostile, and not stated anything incriminating against the petitioner and has also disowned the complaint.

The petition has also stated that the alleged survivor of sexual assault, has not stated anything incriminating against the petitioner in her evidence.

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There is no provision in the POCSO Act making such a statement as relevant or as substantive evidence overlooking the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act.

The Apex Court took note of the submissions and issued notice on the plea.

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