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मंगलवार, 9 अगस्त 2022

Teacher accused of sexually molestation girl students acquitted by Special Court

Teacher accused of sexually molestation girl students acquitted by Special Court 

Nagpur Bench Report Zafar Khan
Accused Rajendra Dadaji Maraskolhe is facing trial for the offences punishable under Sections 354, 354A, 354D, 506,509 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 11 read with section 12and section  of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act 2012 (In short hereinafter referred as POCSO Act). According to prosecution the alleged incident has occurred in between 13th April 2018 to 7/9/2018 at Zilla Parishad Madhymik Vidyalaya, Katol Road, Nagpur.  
The brief facts of the prosecution case are as under : As per the prosecution at the above relevant time the complainant Vijay Chakole (PW1) was the Incharge Head Master of the Zilla Parishad Madhymik Vidyalaya, Katol Road, Nagpur and accused was the teacher in the same school, who was posted there on 1.6.2017.  Accused was the teacher of English subject and used to teach the students of 9th and 10th standard. There was complaint box affixed in the school, which used to open twice in the academic year.  According to complainant in the month of January 2018 the girl students of 9th and 10th standard, namely  Shreya Katariya (PW4), Roshni Sheikh (PW5) have given the oral complaint to him against the accused by stating that the accused used to speak with them in unfair words (ulatsulat).  At that time complainant warns orally to the accused to behave with the girl students properly.   

on 13.4.2018 the school committee have opened the complaint box and at that time the common and individual complaints of girl students of 9th and 10th standard namely Shreya Katariya, Monica Baghele, Roshni Sheikh, Simrankhan, Masoomkhan and other girl students were found in it.  In this complaint these students were written that they distraught because of the accused.  Accused was uttering to them in the words "Tu khup chan ahe ani mala tu khub awadthe" ["you look like very good, he like you"] Accused also said to them that if he got aggrieved he can do anything.  These girls were written that the accused should not be their teacher hereinafter. Therefore, the complainant have given written intimation to the accused and warned to him not to repeat such things again. Thereafter there was a vacation to the school.  4. It has stated that the new session of school was started from 13th June 2018 and subsequently on 28.8.2018 one girl student Samiya Sheikh has given written complaint against the accused to him.  She has written that the accused was demanding her cell number and was asking whether she has completed her age of 20 years.  She has also written that the accused was watching her with bad intention.  When she has asked for the holiday, at that time accused used to talk yesterday was valentine and kiss day.  He was also asking her to live confidently and he used to ask with ill intention to the girl students.  He was also asking that do not take stretch, he felt uncomfortable.  

 in March 2019 Zilla Parishad, Nagpur have given the proposal to the Divisional Commissioner, Nagpur to conduct Departmental enquiry against the accused and in that inquiry he was found guilty.  As per the inquiry report and order dated 16.9.2020 of the Chief Executive Officer directed the complainant to lodge the report in the police station against the accused and also directed him to file his report.  Accordingly complainant has lodged the report Exh.10 dated 16.9.2020 in the police station Sadar, Nagpur. On the basis of said complaint Sadar, Nagpur (City) police have registered the offence vide crime No.429/2020 and WAPI Bharati Gurnule (PW6) has completed the investigation as per rules and finally filed charge sheet against the accused in the Court for trial.In order to prove its case prosecution examined 8 witnesses including 5 victim girls. While acquitting the accused Court observed.23. So far as the offence punishable under section 354, 354A and 354D of the Indian Penal Code, the prosecution has to prove that the accused used criminal force against women with intent to outrage her modesty.  The prosecution has also to prove that at the relevant time accused advanced involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures.  For the offence under section 354 D of the Indian Penal Code prosecution has to prove that the accused followed the woman and contact or attempt to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly, despite clear indication of disinterest by such woman.  In the instant case the victim girl students (PW3), (PW5), (PW6) and (PW7) are not aware about exact date of incident nor they have deposed specifically act done by the accused which was intended to outrage their modesty.  On the contrary they have deposed in crossexamination that they were not liking the teaching of accused, therefore, they have made complaint against him. Likewise, prosecution has not brought on record the word used by the accused, gestures or act intended to insult the modesty of woman or criminal intimidation as defined under section 503 of the Indian Penal Code.  The prosecution has also failed to prove the specific incident alongwith date and time that the accused has followed the girl students and thereby committed the offence under section 12 of the POCSO Act.    24. The crux of the instant matter lies in the dispute of service seniority between complainant and the accused, as they were in service in the same school.  As per complainant he was senior to the accused as per State seniority list while accused claiming his seniority on the basis of departmental seniority list. Meanwhile, complainant was authorized to take the charge of incharge Head Master of the school.  This peculiar situation gave rise to the alleged case by making allegations against each others. The grievances of majority girl students were that they were not liking teaching of the accused and therefore, they have made the complaint against him to the complainant.  No doubt, some incriminating facts came in the evidence of some girl students but there is no specification nor corroboration.  It is the rule of criminal jurisprudence that the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, but in this case it failed to prove looking to these facts.  Hence, I answer point nos.2 to 7 in the negative and hold it accordingly. Adv Mir Nagman Ali and Adv Rahul Nikure appeared for Accused Rajendra Maraskolhe.