‘Aided rape of daughter’: Special court Kupwara denies bail to woman

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A special court in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday rejected a bail plea of a woman accused of aiding the sexual assault of her daughter.

The counsel for the mother of the minor victim had sought bail on the ground that the accused was “innocent” and there were “contradictions” in the statements of witnesses recorded during the trial.

The case was heard under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), which is framed to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, and provide for the establishment of Special Courts for a trial of such offenses.

However, APP Dar Rashid objected that the plea of the accused is groundless as the minor victim in her statement recorded under section 164 of CrPC has expressly deposed that her mother is involved in the crime and she has aided the accused in the act.

He argued that the minor victim according to her statement was drugged before the sexual assault. The charges leveled against the accused are disgraceful and heinous in nature, he added.

Khem Raj Sharma, the presiding officer of POCSO Court Kupwara, in his order, withheld the discretionary relief of bail to the applicant and said that the reverse burden contemplated under section 29 of the POCSO Act must not only be strictly complied with but also may be subject to proof of some basic facts as envisaged under the statute.

The court further held that it cannot be decided at this stage that the prosecution story is doubtful.

On 21 August 2020, a minor girl, whose name has been withheld, complained that she was raped by a man, who was aided by her mother.

Following the allegations, the police registered a case under sections 376, and 109 of the Indian Penal Code read with sections 4 and 17 of the POCSO Act at police station Kupwara.

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