SRINAGAR: The Fast Track Court handling POCSO cases in Srinagar has denied bail to accused Amit Ambardar, a resident of Janipur, Jammu, who is involved in a sexual assault case concerning a minor girl. The court based its decision on the fact that crucial witnesses, including the victim’s minor sister, are yet to be examined, and releasing the accused on bail could lead to potential tampering with evidence and intimidation of prosecution witnesses.

The incident dates back to March 31 of the previous year when a complaint was received from a resident of Baramulla, who was residing in a rented house in Nowshara, Srinagar.

The complainant alleged that while his two minor daughters were playing in the house’s lawn, Amit Ambardar, who also lived on the ground floor, called the two girls into his room. He then reportedly gave money to one of them and sent her outside to buy sweets before allegedly attempting to rape the other daughter.

Following the complaint, a case (FIR No 27/2022) was registered against Amit Ambardar under Sections 376-AB IPC and Section 7/8 of the POCSO Act. The prosecution opposed bail, stating that the victim’s statement was recorded under Section 164 of CrPC, her medical examination was conducted, and the investigation revealed evidence establishing the charges against the accused.

Subsequently, a chargesheet was presented against him in the concerned court.

The presiding officer of the court noted that the accused was charged with a violation of the POCSO Act, leading to the presumption under Section 29 of the Act being triggered against him. While it was acknowledged that the other two witnesses had turned hostile, the court emphasized that the credibility of the minor victim’s testimony had not been significantly affected by the statements of the hostile witnesses.

As per established legal precedent, the solitary testimony of the victim can be sufficient if it is found to be credible, and no additional corroboration is required.

The local court in Srinagar declined bail to Amit Ambardar, citing the importance of examining pending witnesses and the strong presumption against him based on the credible testimony of the minor victim. The case will continue to be heard in court as the trial proceeds.

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