The Delhi High Court has finally come up with a bold statement calling out the ‘trend’ to register FIRs under provisions pertaining to sexual offences against women – either to force a party from withdrawing a complaint instituted against them or to arm-twist a party.
Justice Subramonium Prasad said,
Offences under Sections 354, 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D IPC are serious offences. Such allegations have the effect of tarnishing the image of the person against whom such allegations are made. Allegations regarding these offences cannot be made at the drop of a hat.
As reported by The Indian Express, the Delhi High Court has called this an abuse of the process of law, while observing that the police force is very limited and they have to spend time investigating frivolous cases. The order noted,
They have to attend court proceedings, prepare status report, etc. The result is that investigation in serious offences gets compromised and the accused escape because of shoddy investigation. Time has come to initiate action against persons who file frivolous complaints under Sections 354, 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D IPC etc. only for ulterior purpose.
The order has been passed by the court in petitions seeking quashing of FIRs filed by certain residents of Vasant Kunj against each other. The parties had reached compromises after intervention of common friends, relatives and family members.
Allowing the mutual settlement, the court imposed a cost of Rs 30,000 each in the two petitions filed by the residents and warned them not to file false and frivolous cases. The court said,
The instant case is a classic example as to how frivolous allegations of Section 354 and 354A have been levelled by the parties against each other. A small fight regarding parking has been escalated by levelling allegation of outraging modesty of women.