I wanted to share with you all an incident that happened to me with regards to how women abuse women centric laws meant for their safety and get away with it as the courts do not impose any punishment.
A false molestation case was filed against me by my ex wife’s friend in 2015. I was arrested without a 41a notice in spite of informing the Police officer about the procedure. Subsequently, a charge sheet was filed and the case went to trial.
It took about 3 years to record the evidence as the complainant kept skipping court dates. I was working abroad at that time and had hired a lawyer to follow up.
In the latter half of 2017, I was shocked when I was informed by my lawyer that a non-bailable warrant had been issued against me by the court for failing to show up on a particular court date. This happened in spite of the fact that the complainant herself had failed to show up for most of the dates, including the day the warrant was issued. It is pertinent to note here that my counsel had filed an exemption application along with a medical certificate stating that I had undergone a surgery. Finally, having no faith whatsoever on my counsel and the court, I decided to leave my job and head back to India.
Arrived At Airport & Headed Straight To Court
Once I arrived at the airport, I headed straight to the court and asked them, why was a NBW issued only against me and not against the complainant who was skipping court dates without any fear. I asked the court to either arrest me then and there or to also issue an NBW against the complainant woman.
The court took a middle ground and granted a short date, then a bailable warrant and finally a non-bailable warrant against the woman. It is only then that the complainant finally appeared in court. I had to engage a lawyer to cross examine her, since in sexual assault cases an accused is not allowed to do so. Later, I cross examined the other witnesses as a party in person. All throughout, the concerned local police were not even delivering the summons to the witnesses (stating witness not found) and I had to file a private complaint against them in the same Court U/S 166A, to finally make the court pull them up.
The court surprisingly refused to accept my complaint in writing, but warned the officials of consequences if their irresponsible behaviour continued. This stretched the case further for another three months after the complainant was cross examined.
There were 14 prosecution witnesses in the chargesheet and 3 were dropped in which one was a main witness. The other two were witnesses that the chargesheet and the complainant said “were present on the particular spot on the day of the incident”. When I vehemently objected to the dropping of those witnesses, I was told by the judge to play along or that he would delay my case disposal.
Final Court Order
The court noted,
Further, it is trite to note that prior to lodging of the Ex.P1 by PW-1, the accused had lodged the complaint against PW-1. This fact is clearly admitted by PW-1 in her cross examination. According to PW-1 she has lodged three complaints against accused. In two complaints after the investigation the investigating officers have filed the ‘B’ final reports. This itself indicates that the relationship between the accused and PW-1 is not good. PW-1 is no personal grudge against the accused. Only grudge is accused is supporting to her husband and he is touting her husband. At the instigation of accused her husband is trying to take the custody of her children. On perusal of the evidence of PW-1 one thing is very clear that PW-1 has lodged the counter complaint against the accused person.
Filed For Compensation
When the trial was over, I then filed an application U/S 358 CrPC for compensation, but the magistrate refused to accept the application and warned me that he will delay the judgement if I persist.
Experience With Police As Under Trial
I also wish to share the apathy Men are subjected to – when they are falsely accused in cases. The behaviour of the police and courts also showcase how Men are targeted when they try to fight back without taking recourse of a legal counsel.
I lost my job at an MNC where I was working abroad. The mental scars of my arrest has made me claustrophobic, I lost money in seeking bail and making rounds of the courts and as a result of fighting back. When I filed several complaints against the police and judges connected to this trial,I was arrested in another false case in 2018 and imprisoned for 16-days.
I was taken to court thrice during this period as an under trial in handcuffs. When I told them that it is a violation of human rights, I was beaten up.
Handcuffing an under trial is only permitted after the court’s consent, but it was not followed in practice. It is painful that relatives of the accused and others see the under trial in handcuffs at the court premises.
According to a Supreme Court judgment, the police cannot handcuff an under trial unless a magistrate grants permission, except in rare circumstances – for example, if the prisoner is prone to violence, or likely to escape. The burden of proving that the use of handcuffs is necessary lies with the police.
WATCH VIDEO –
Interview | Sarvjeet Singh Bedi | Accused of False Molestation Case, Sarvjeet Was Honourably Acquitted by Delhi Court