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Maharashtra court acquits man accused of sexual harassment as complainant goes missing

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A court in Maharashtra’s Thane district has acquitted a 30-year-old man accused of stalking a girl as the prosecution could not examine her during the trial.

Special judge for cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, V V Virkar, passed the order on January 2. It became available on Friday.

As per the prosecution, the girl, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident and worked in a factory in Bhiwandi, knew the accused.

In January 2014, the accused allegedly accosted her at a bus stop and proposed marriage to her.

He stalked her even after she rejected his proposal, the prosecution said.

However, the girl and her mother — to whom she had first narrated the alleged incident — never appeared in the court to record their statements.

They were not found at their residential address and had become untraceable, the prosecution told the court.

The accused could not be convicted in the absence of the complainant’s testimony in this case, the court held, acquitting the man.

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