When the appeal moved by the girl’s mother challenging the acquittal came up, Justice P Velmurugan said the investigating officer should have taken a little more effort. “But they failed to take that effort and the victim’s mother, being an illiterate, helpless lady, did not know what has to be done like approaching a hospital or rushing to the police or producing the inner garment of the victim child for test.
“Unfortunately, the investigation wing is also not up to the standard, and due to either defect or fault in investigation, the culprits are escaping in most of the cases,” he added. Justice Velmurugan also came down heavily on trial court judges not applying their mind in exercising their inherent or discretionary power either to direct reinvestigation or summon relevant records, and instead only look for proof beyond reasonable doubt.
“In cases like this, we cannot give much importance to the technical ground of proof. The victim, aged below 3 years, is not in a position to speak out the charges of crimes or atrocities. Under such circumstances, the mother has spoken and no corroboration can be expected. But owing to the mother’s innocence and the inability of the victim, the culprit cannot be allowed to escape the clutches of law,” the court held while directing the accused to appear before it and rebut the court’s presumption that he was guilty. Incidentally, while recording evidence before the trial court, the word semen in English was typed as “semman” in Tamil.
Taking advantage of the typist’s mistake, the defence argued during trial that the victim’s mother has stated in her evidence that she found “semman colour” (red soil colour). But the mother had only spoken about it before the trial court as a white colour fluid. “Mere technicalities should not be allowed to stand in the way of administration of justice,” the court held while noting that delay in filing FIR or delay in medical examination cannot be fatal to Pocso cases.