A single judge of Delhi High Court talks about the 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.
From Para 6,
6. A perusal of the abovementioned facts would show that the parties have registered cross-cases against each other for offences under Section 376 IPC. It is tragic to note that practising advocates belonging to the legal fraternity are trivialising the offence of rape. 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.
From Para 8,
8. The issue as to whether the High Courts, while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C, should quash an offence under Section 376 IPC has come for consideration before the Supreme Court in a number of cases. Rape is an offence against the society. The Supreme Court has, time and again, directed that the High Court should not exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C to quash an offence of rape on the ground that the parties have entered into a compromise.
From Paras 14-19,
Vimlesh Agnihotri and Ors Vs State and Anr on 16 Aug 2021
14. 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.
15. In the present case it appears that both sides have resorted to file complaints of rape without having any sensitivity to the offence of rape. While the repercussions of the offence of rape on the victim have been mentioned above, on the other hand, false allegations of rape have the potential to destroy the life and career of the accused. The accused in a false case of rape loses his honour, cannot face his family and is stigmatized 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.
16. Further, the time spent by the police in investigating false cases hinders them from spending time in investigation of serious offences. As a result, it leads to faulty investigations and the accused end up going scot-free. 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.
17. This Court, at the moment, is not commenting as to whether the present case is a false case or not. However, 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. There is an urgent need to deter such frivolous litigations.
18. False claims and allegations pertaining to cases of molestation and rape need to be dealt with an iron hand due to the serious nature of the offences. 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 Courts have to ensure that there is no incentive or motive for frivolous litigations which unnecessarily consumes the Court’s otherwise scare time. This Court is of the opinion that this problem can be solved, or at least minimized, to a certain extent, if exemplary cost is imposed on the litigants for instituting frivolous litigations.
19. In view of the mandate of the Supreme Court 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, this Court is not inclined to entertain this petition.
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