Delhi High Court has come down heavily once again calling for action against false cases of molestation and rape. Declining to quash a rape case compromised by the complainant and accused persons, the high court on Monday said false claims and allegations of molestation and rape need to be dealt with an iron hand due to the serious nature of the offences.
Justice Subramonium Prasad in his judgment quoted:
Such litigations are instituted by the unscrupulous litigants in the hope that the other party will capitulate to their demands out of fear or shame. Unless wrongdoers are not made to face the consequences of their actions, it would be difficult to prevent such frivolous litigations.
The court made the observations in an order dismissing a petition seeking quashing of an FIR registered under Section 376 IPC by Aman Vihar police station. The parties had registered cross-cases of rape against each other at the same police station in 2019. In one of the cases, a lawyer is a complainant against another lawyer, and in the second case, the wife of the accused lawyer is the complainant.
Delhi High Court:
The court in the order said it was tragic to note that practising advocates belonging to the legal fraternity were trivialising the offence of rape. It said,
Rape is not merely a physical assault; it is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim. The act of rape has the ability to scar the mental psyche of the victim, and this trauma can persist for years.
The court said it was a matter of grave concern that people were treating the allegations of rape in a very casual manner.
Justice Prasad further added that quashing an FIR related to offences like rape on the basis of compromise will encourage the “accused to put pressure on the victims to agree to a compromise and this will open doors for the accused to get away with a heinous crime which cannot be permitted.”
The court did not end here. Justice Prasad categorically said that the false allegations of rape have the potential to destroy the life and career of the accused. He remarked,
The accused in a false case of rape loses his honour, cannot face his family and is stigmatised for life. Allegations regarding offences such as one under Section 376 IPC cannot be made at the drop of a hat – in order to settle personal scores.
High Court On Valuable Time Wasted On False Cases
The court also said that the time spent by police in investigating false cases hinders them from spending time investigating serious offences which as a result lead to faulty investigations. The order noted,
Valuable judicial time is also spent in hearing cases where false allegations are made and is consequently an abuse of the process of law. Therefore, people who make such false allegations of rape cannot be permitted to go scot-free.
This Court is pained to note that there is an alarming increase of false cases of rape and offences under Section 354, 354A, 354B, 354C & 354D only to arm-twist the accused and make them succumb to the demands of the complainant.
Action Must Be Taken Against False Accusers
The court said that if it is found that the cases which have been filed by the parties against each other are false and frivolous then action should be taken against the prosecutrix and others who were instrumental in levelling allegations of rape only to settle some personal scores. It said,
There is an urgent need to deter such frivolous litigations.
Whether Present Case Was False?
Clarifying that it was not commenting as to whether the present case was a false case or not, the Court observed:
If it is found that the cases which have been filed by the parties against each other are false and frivolous then action should be taken against the prosecutrix and others who were instrumental in levelling allegations of rape only to settle some personal scores.
Quashing FIR for offences like rape on the basis of compromise will encourage accused to put pressure on the victims to agree to a compromise and this will open doors for the accused to get away with a heinous crime which cannot be permitted.
Therefore, the petition was dismissed with the observation that High Courts must not exercise its powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing an offence of rape only on the ground that the parties have entered into a compromise.
Other Orders By Justice Subramonium Prasad Of Delhi High Court
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