Can’t file rape case at drop of hat to settle scores: Delhi HC | India News

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NEW DELHI: False allegations of rape and molestation made at the drop of a hat, in a “very casual manner”, not only trivialise serious offences but also leave the accused stigmatised for life, Delhi High Court said while emphasising that such cases needed to be dealt with an iron hand “due to the serious nature of the offences”.
The court made the strongly worded order after it found that two warring couples had registered cross-cases of rape against each other. “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 (IPC) only to arm-twist the accused and make them succumb to the demands of the complainant” out of fear or shame, Justice Subramonium Prasad observed.
“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,” he said.
The court further noted that “unless wrongdoers are not made to face the consequences of their actions, it would be difficult to prevent such frivolous litigations”.
Taking note of the involvement of two lawyers in the matter before it, the court said it was “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”.
It pointed out that time spent by police in investigating false cases hindered them from investigating 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 (it) is consequently an abuse of the process of law.”
The court added that the problem of false allegations could be solved, or at least minimised, to a certain extent, if exemplary cost was imposed on the litigants.
Refusing to quash the FIR in the present case, the court said that while it was not commenting on the merits of the allegations, if it was found that the allegations were not true, action should be taken against the prosecutrix and others who were instrumental.

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