New Delhi: A man, who was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing his 11-year-old neighbour, has been acquitted by a Delhi court which held that the child was not a "reliable witness" as she changed her statement.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajneesh Kumar Gupta acquitted the west Delhi resident of the charges of sexually harassing and assaulting a child under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and IPC.
The court said that the minor girl, who was the only witness, changed her statement during cross-examination before it and was not a reliable witness.
"The girl deposed contradictory to the alleged incident in her testimony. In these circumstances, her evidence does not inspire confidence as she is not a reliable witness.
"Accordingly, the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused, hence he is acquitted of the charges," the judge said.
According to the prosecution, on April 4, 2013, the girl had gone out of the house to meet her friend when the man caught hold of her and sexually assaulted her.
She escaped his clutches and informed her mother about the incident after which they lodged a complaint against him at Tilak Nagar Police Station.
The girl, however, resiled from her statement in her cross examination and said that the man had not sexually harassed her.
She told the court that he was under the influence of alcohol and had come only to talk to her about something. She said that he had never misbehaved with her and she had lodged the FIR due to some misunderstanding.
The man had denied the allegations levelled against him in the case and pleaded innocence.