A local court in Sultanpur district has acquitted a 55-year-old man in a rape and kidnapping case of a girl in 1988 and ordered a case against her for giving a false statement. The woman, who was then 14 years, did not support prosecuting during a cross-examination.

“Additional District Judge Kalparaj Singh acquitted the man, who was out on bail, for lack of evidence,” said Sultanpur government counsel Dhan Bahadur Verma on Monday. The woman, who now lives in Chhattisgarh, had come to Sultanpur to record her statement before a magistrate, Verma said.

“She was declared hostile after she contradicted the prosecution case during a cross-examination. She had earlier alleged kidnapping and rape. In its judgment passed on September 9, the court directed to lodge a case against her under section 344 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code),” said Verma.

Earlier in 2007, three other accused were convicted for kidnapping and rape, and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.

According to prosecution, a case of rape and kidnapping was filed against four people, including the acquitted man, at a local police station after the purported incident on October 8, 1988. The three others were neighbours of the girl while the acquitted man then used to work as a salesman at a liquor shop in the area.

It was alleged that one of the four accused kidnapped the girl when she went to relieve herself. She was taken to a room where the accused raped her, said prosecution. The next day, she escaped from the room and got an FIR registered against the four men, who were arrested.

Later, the liquor salesman jumped bail and stopped attending trial, following which his file was separated from that of his co-accused.

“In 2007, the court sentenced three others to seven years of imprisonment. The convicts challenged the judgment in higher courts, but they did not get any relief. They have completed their sentence,” said Verma.

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By Wyatt

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