A Padma laureate was convicted under the POCSO law for allegedly raping a minor while she was placed with her foster family.
Based on a complaint from a chief judicial magistrate who was informed by the District Legal Services Authority (DSLA) on December 17, Assam police registered an FIR against the man the next day, citing articles of the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act. .
“We cannot comment on it as it is a pending case, but the investigation is open,” said a police officer investigating the case.
Following the FIR, the man appealed to the High Court in Gauhati, asking for bail before the arrest. On December 28, he was granted provisional bail and the court requested the diary of the case on January 7.
In his order, Judge Arun Dev Choudhury said the alleged offense was “of a serious nature”. However, provisional bail was granted, given the “applicant’s background, his allegation that the current FIR was filed to humiliate and damage his reputation” as well as a counter-petition against the Protection Committee. District Childhood (CWC). .
Noting that the FIR did not “disclose any specific statement” from the victim, the court said that an interim order would be made in “the interests of justice”. He asked the applicant to appear before the police within 7 days.
A police officer said the accused appeared before them and his statement was recorded.
According to FIR, the victim, an inmate at a children’s home, alleged a year-long sexual assault by her adoptive father while in his care.
DLSA Secretary Bichitra Dutta said the allegation was “serious”.
“Based on our preliminary findings on the victim impact statement, other witnesses as well as the CWC account, the victim was repeatedly raped for over a year, while she was placed in her foster home, ”she said, adding that“ the findings of the medical examination, conducted as part of the investigation, also prima facie support the allegations ”.
The victim is currently in a children’s home, under special police protection.
According to the FIR, the victim was placed in the defendant’s foster family for a period of one year (in August 2020) on the condition that it must be renewed.
The FIR alleged that the accused did not renew the act of placing the child or place the child before the CWC at the end of the year despite multiple reminders from the CWC.
On October 28 of this year, the accused produced two children (including the victim) before the CWC, but the CWC “could not come to any decision for the renewal of the foster care” and brought them down. sent to a children’s home.
According to the FIR, the problem first emerged when CWC members approached DSLA’s Dutta on November 30 with the victim impact statement, asking them to help them with available legal remedies.
The DSLA guided them and sent a letter to the president of the CWC on December 8, requesting a report on the actions taken.
When no report was submitted by December 15, the DSLA sent a show cause notice to the CWC on December 16, “taking into account the inaction of the CWC” and taking into account the “nature and severity of the allegations “. The DSLA subsequently opened a preliminary investigation into the case, recording the victim impact statement and ordering a medical examination. The victim’s medical report, according to FIR, clearly showed signs of sexual assault.
Lead lawyer AM Bora, counsel for the accused, said: “There is a context in this case, and it is very important. The CWC sent several foster daughters into his and his wife’s care for several years due to its philanthropic nature. He took care of a lot of children.
“However, a conflict had arisen between the CWC and him when he asked them to reimburse him for the money used for the treatment of the other child in his care… There is much more to this matter, and this is that’s why he was granted interim bail, even in a case like POCSO, ”Bora said.
According to the court order, S Zahan, additional prosecutor for Assam, said a person’s “social status” should not be taken into account in a case involving such allegations.
A CWC official said: “There was no intentional delay on our part. We are only a five member committee and our term already expired on August 31, 2021. This was a big business and all the members were in different places in the district so it took some time.