Five years after Pascal Mazurier (44), a French diplomat, was accused of raping his then three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, a sessions court in Bengaluru has acquitted him.
The judgment was delivered in the presence of Pascal Mazurier. His estranged wife Suja Jones (42) had complained in June 2012, that Pascal had raped their child.
While pronouncing the judgment, the sessions court judge said that there was not enough evidence to convict Pascal in the case. Following his acquittal, Pascal Mazurier said he was 'very happy'.
"The Honourble court has taken the evidence into consideration and given the judgment. The police has done a fantastic job," Pascal's lawyer said, following the judgment.
An FIR was filed under Section 376 of the IPC at the High Grounds police station against Mazurier in June 2012, and Pascal who was the deputy head of chancery at the French Consulate in Bangalore at the time was arrested on June 15.
The arrest came four days after the complaint was filed by Suja Jones Mazurier (42), a native of Kerala. Suja had submitted a medical report from the Collaborative Child Response Unit (CCRU) of the Baptist Hospital to the police on June 14 confirming the child had been raped on June 13.
Suja and Pascal were married in France in 2001 and have three kids, the girl child is the middle child. The family moved to Bangalore in 2008 and was staying in an apartment in Vasanthnagar.
History of the case
In a complaint written to the Ambassador of France in India, Suja stated that she suspected that her husband had been abusing their daughter since April 2010. She says that she had found several indicators which suggested that the child had been sexually abused, but when she brought it up with her husband he would brush it aside.
Suja had taken her daughter for several sessions with a doctor working with a Bangalore NGO, Enfold India. On June 6, the doctor after examining her daughter gave a preliminary report that confirmed that she was being physically and sexually abused.
On June 13, when Suja returned home to find her daughter crying, the domestic help told her that her husband had been in their bedroom with their daughter for a considerable length of time.
Following which, on June 14, Suja went to meet the doctors at Baptist hospital and the doctors after conducting tests found that the swab examination tested positive for sperm.
After the hospital confirmed rape, Suja filed a complaint against her husband with the High Grounds police station. Police summoned Pascal for questioning the same evening and let him go after he denied the allegation.
The Frenchman was let off after his boss, Vincent Caumontat, Deputy Consul, Head of Chancery gave a written undertaking that Pascal would remain with him in his house and submit himself to the authorities as and when he would be required.
The Vienna convention, in which Indian and France are signatories, states that a diplomat cannot be arrested or detained.
Pascal was rearrested on June 19, after the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified to the city police that the accused did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity.
However, the police claimed in July that results of the DNA tests of the samples collected from Pascal were inconclusive.
How the DNA samples were botched up
Two DNA samples were taken in the case, one at the Baptist hospital in Bengaluru on the day of the alleged rape and the second a day later at the Bowring Hospital in the city.
While the DNA on all the four cloth samples matched Pascal and his daughter's DNA, the vaginal swabs from Baptist hospital did not match the child or Pascalâ€™s DNA. At the same time, no X chromosome was found on vaginal swabs taken at the Bowring hospital.
Pascal was granted conditional bail on October 17 after furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1,00,000 and surrendering his passport to the local court.