A man has been acquitted of charges of repeatedly raping and molesting his 15-year-old niece, an epilepsy patient, with the court giving him benefit of doubt after the girl and her mother changed their statement and did not support the case of the prosecution.Additional Sessions Judge Illa Rawat absolved the man, a Delhi resident and paternal uncle of the minor, while noting that neither the girl nor her mother had supported the case and even denied having lodged any complaint.The court also relied on the medical report of the victim which did not prove that she was sexually assaulted or raped. “The prosecution has miserably failed to prove that the accused had raped his own niece, a 15-year-old minor and that too three-four times. Accordingly, I acquit him of the charged offence by giving him benefit of doubt,” the judge said.While acquitting the accused, the court noted that some of the persons to whom the victim had narrated the incident, were not made witnesses in the case, which created doubts on the prosecution story. According to the police, the accused had allegedly raped his niece about three months prior to the date when the matter was reported on April 18, 2012. It said that the minor was raped while she was unconscious due to an epileptic attack.A complaint was lodged by the victim with the help of her friend and school teachers. Her mother too supported the case and had told the police that she was aware of the incidents but had kept quiet till date to save her reputation, it said. The mother and the victim, however, changed their statement in court, saying that no complaint was ever filed and they were made to sign blank papers by the police.The court noted that the victim, a material witness, had deposed that she was never mis-treated by her uncle. “The victim denied that accused had ever misbehaved with her let alone rape or attempt to rape,” it said, while freeing him of the charges of rape and molestation under sections 376 and 354 of the IPC.
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