Court acquits father who was falsely framed for rape by step daughter in Maharashtra   

After serving seven years in jail, a 35-year-old man was found not guilty on Thursday by the Kalyan Sessions Court of the 2015 rape of his 15-year-old stepdaughter.

His stepdaughter, wife, and the woman’s first husband all wrongly accused the man in the incident. The teenager allegedly came up with the scheme to conceal her relationship with her boyfriend and get her parents back together after seeing a famous crime show on television.

In 2014, the man, Vipul Narkar, who was 28 at the time and owned a printing press, met the girl’s mother at a restaurant and fell in love with her. She was a divorcee with two kids, a boy who was 13 and a daughter who was 15. They were given a residence in Dombivli by Narkar, who also married the 34-year-old lady. He also obtained school enrollment for the kids.

Narkar found his stepdaughter again with a male the following year, in 2015, and reprimanded her. He advised her to focus on her academics. The girl tried to commit herself in April of the same year by ingesting phenyl, and was rushed to the hospital. She reported her stepfather’s sexual abuse to the police. In accordance with the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offenses Act, Narkar was detained for rape (POCSO). Due of his lack of funds, Narkar was unable to defend himself and was forced to stay behind bars.

In 2018, the individual met his attorney while incarcerated. The lawyer saw the man’s exemplary behaviour and became aware that the situation required more inquiry.

Ganesh Gholap, his attorney, met him at Adharwadi prison in 2018. “I saw Narkar was well mannered with everyone and helped the majority of convicts with simple duties like submitting applications,” Gholap added. “He was proficient in English and had extremely lovely penmanship. I was curious about him and wanted to hear his story. I began conversing with him and after hearing him out chose to take his case. I submitted an application to the court in 2019, and the process got started. However, as the virus spread, they were trapped,” Gholap said.

Twelve witnesses, including the girl, her three male companions, her principal, medical professionals, and neighbours, were questioned by the defence.

Gholap added, “Her medical report did not show any signs of sexual assault. Her parents or school principal could not provide her birth certificate to prove that she was a minor at the time of the incident. We then decided to cross examine the girl. She told us that they sold the house brought by Narkar in Dombivli and went to live with her real father. She also told the court that her boyfriend refused to marry her and thus she attempted suicide. She got scared that Narkar would scold her for trying to elope. She used to watch a popular crime drama from where she got an idea to frame her step-father so that her parents too could reunite. She told the plan to her parents who agreed, she told the court.”