Customs official acquitted of rape charges

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Chennai, May 1 (UNI) A special court acquitted four people, including a Customs Official, of the charge of raping minor girls.

Radhakrishnan, a Customs official and the main accused, had claimed in his defence that the case was based on charges concocted by his estranged wife from whom he had been seeking divorce.

Mahila Court Special Judge S Sampath said the case was an example as to how a person whose marriage was in trouble could face problems from his wife.

In this era of women's empowerment and lesser harassment by menfolk, a case of this nature had been reported, he said.

According to the prosecution, Radhakrishnan used to approach families of girls aged between 10 and 15 years and offer to educate them.

He used to take them to his farm house at Sangilikuppam near Vaniyambadi and sexually assault them, the prosecution alleged.

He gave gifts and cash to the parents and even offered to adopt the children. Three other suspects, including a lady, were charged with abetting the offences.

A complaint was registered after one of the victims called up the Child Line in Chennai and narrated the tale to the Juvenile Justice Board. Radhakrishnan was arrested on February 5, 2005.

In his Judgment, Judge Sampath referred to Radhakrishnan's married life and said his divorce petition was pending before a family court here for the past six years.

His wife neither offered to live with him nor gave a consent for dissolution of the marriage.

The Judge also stated that owing to her personal animosity, she even suspected her husband's six-year association with a girl.

'The prosecution had not proved the charges beyond doubt,' the judge said and ordered the release of all the four accused.

UNI XR GM PJ DB1247

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