The court also ordered to inquire whether prosecution steps can be taken under section 22 of the POCSO Act against those who made the false complaint.
Flaying the practice of levelling false sexual abuse charges against someone with the aim of wreaking vengeance, the Kerala High Court has held any attempt to misuse the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) to settle scores needs to be nipped in the bud.
The court made the observation when a POCSO case charged against a person was found to be fictitious. The court also ordered to inquire whether prosecution steps can be taken under section 22 of the POCSO Act against those who made the false complaint.
According to the court, an allegation of sexual abuse of a child is a matter of serious concern which affects public conscience. “The POCSO Act provides for very deterrent punishment to the guilty. Hence, a false case of sexual abuse of a child has to be treated very seriously and any attempt to implicate a person falsely in an offence under the provisions of the POCSO Act has to be seriously dealt with,” it observed.
The court issued the order while dismissing a petition filed by Sujatha, mother of the victim minor girl in the case, seeking a directive to entrust the investigation with a special investigation team. According to the complaint, the accused trespassed into the house of the petitioner and caught hold of her 16-year-old daughter while she was alone. The petitioner alleged the case was not effectively investigated by the police.
The court noted the statements of the mother, victim, neighbours and the teachers to whom the victim allegedly disclosed the details were recorded.
Though the victim was stated to have disclosed the incident to the teachers, despite repeated questioning, she conspicuously did not reveal the name of the accused, who was her neighbour and known to her. She revealed the name of the accused two days thereafter. The police found the accused was at Karunagappally, far away from the alleged place of the incident at Sasthamcotta, on that day.