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Supreme Court rules : Acquittal in POCSO cases is not clear when the complainant backtracks and witnesses become hostile

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by News Desk

Case – State of Madhya Pradesh and ors vs Bhupendra Yadav

What is the Issue in this case?

The Supreme Court ruled that acquittal in a minor’s sexual assault matter cannot be considered clean when witnesses became hostile throughout the trial and the complainant recanted her claims.

What are the facts of the case?

The POCSO originated from a 2015 event in which the primary accused (current respondent) and others had been accused of wrongfully confining the young complainant and attempting to offend her modesty.

During the trial, a deal was reached between the defendant and the survivor, so the charge of improper restraint was compounded. 

The accused was eventually cleared of the accusations of sexual harassment and endangering the minor’s modesty because the survivor was unpersuaded by her previous testimony and the witnesses became hostile.

The guilty guy then sought for a position as a constable in the Madhya Pradesh police, but a Superintendent of Police ruled him ineligible for appointment during the final stages of screening since the POSCO offences were crimes of immoral conduct. 

A single High Court judge declined to intervene in the police judgement, however a division bench granted the man’s appeal.

In response, the State administration appealed the division bench decision to the Supreme Court.

What were the Arguments Presented?

The Court stated that once assigned to an enforcement position, the appointee is responsible for maintaining law and order as well as protecting the public’s life and property. As a result, the moral requirements or integrity for such an applicant are always greater and more demanding, according to the Court. 

Having a superior moral character constitutes one of the essential prerequisites for employment to a position as delicate as that of a police officer.

The bench

Judgement of the bench

As a result, the bench ruled that the accused’s acquittal in this instance did not automatically qualify him for appointment of the constable position. As a result, the Court ruled that the government’s action was not fraudulent  nor arbitrary. Thus, the State Government’s petition was granted.

Written By – Nikita Shankar

Written By

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