The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the bail plea of a man accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl. The court deferred the matter for want of a document of statement in examination and cross-examination of the mother of the child, since the petitioner’s counsel submitted that post filing the petition before the apex court, the cross-examination of the child’s mother has been completed now .
The bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose deferred the matter by 2 weeks. Justice Maheshwari said: “We found the statement of the mother of the child to be incomplete. As such the document has to be placed on the next date. List it after two weeks.”
Vikas, the petitioner, has been in custody for 2 years and 5 months. His counsel argued that in the charge-sheet, filed on February 23, no incident of rape is alleged. Vikas challenged the Delhi High Court order wherein his regular bail was dismissed. The petitioner has been charged for the offence under Sections 376B, 342 IPC and Section 6 read with Section 5(m) of the POCSO Act.
The High Court was of the view that the “statements of child victim and her mother are consistent, coherent and also that the child has also identified the accused/petitioner Vikas,” further holding that the statement of the mother of the child is pending examination. The court said that it was not inclined to grant bail, at this stage, neither does the court wish to evaluate the evidence, lest it prejudices the case of either party on merits.
The High Court relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in State of H.P. v. Manga Singh, (2019) 16 SCC 759 in which it has been said that “It is settled law that the solitary testimony of a victim, if the same inspires confidence is sufficient to record conviction and if the testimony is found to be credible, no corroboration is required.”
The fact of the case is that a 6-year-old child, who was playing with her friend, was allegedly sexually assaulted in her paternal aunt’s room (chachi) by the petitioner. The parents, along with the child, complained to the police on the night of December 24, 2018. Upon the basis of the statement of the child, an FIR was lodged under Section 376/342 IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act. The child was further medically examined. Potency test and medical examination of petitioner was also conducted.
The statement of the child and of her mother was recorded under Section 164 CrPC. A site plan was prepared on the child’s statement, where her aunt was also present. Upon inquiry, the aunt apprised that Vikas was the brother of her tenant. The age of the child was verified from school records.