Additional Sessions Judge Renu Bhatnagar absolved Haroon Quressi, a shopowner in a market near Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, of the offences of sexual assault under section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and sexual harassment (section 354 A) and criminal intimidation (section 509) under IPC.
"Prosecutrix (victim) is the only star witness of the case who has turned hostile and has not supported the case of prosecution. He is acquitted of the charges," the court said.
The victim first filed a complaint but later turned hostile
According to the prosecution, on May 13, 2013, the girl and her aunt had gone to a market near the dargah and asked Quressi for a cold drink and a water bottle. Suddenly, a quarrel broke out between them due to the non-availability of cold drinks at his shop, it said, adding that following the argument, Quressi allegedly misbehaved with the girl and sexually assaulted her in public.
The victim and her aunt lodged a police complaint against him, saying that he also threatened to kill them, it said. The victim, however, changed her statement in the court and said that she did not make those allegations before the police. She told the court that her aunt made the statement before the police in anger.
Her aunt, too, denied the sexual assault incident in the court and said only a verbal quarrel took place between them and Quressi as he did not have cold drinks in his shop. Quressi had denied the allegations against him and had claimed that he was innocent.