In another case of criminal complaints being registered falsely under Section 376, a division bench of the Bombay High Court has quashed a complaint registered against a man who was charged under Sections 376, 324,500, 504 and 506 by the police after his former partner who he had consensual relations with, accused him of cheating her by promising to marry and in the process establishing physical relations with her.
This has become a common occurrence wherein the complainant takes back her complaint after learning the enormity of a rape charge. This was highlighted in a petition filed recently in the HC that has sought guidelines to ensure that innocent persons are not booked under a false charge.
The bench of Justices VM Kanade and Nutan Sardessai were hearing an appeal filed by the accused who sought the FIR against him to be quashed. In the present case, the complainant is a widow and the appellant is a widower. While a complaint was lodged, the complainant later filed an affidavit before the court stating that “she was feeling insecure and, therefore, she was under depression, and under these circumstances, she had filed the complaint with the police.” In the reply, she has further stated that she has no objection if the complaint is quashed.
After interviewing both the complainant and the appellant accused, the bench concluded that the ratio of judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab applies to the present case.
Speaking to LiveLaw earlier, prominent women’s rights lawyer Flavia Agnes had cautioned against painting all rape cases with the same brush, she said- “After the 2013 amendment in the law, rape cases are filed by the police based on a complaint by the victim. There is tremendous pressure on the victim in such cases. We have to understand these cases in a nuanced manner, it cannot be simply said that girls are filing false cases.”
Nonetheless, the problem persists. One of the interesting aspects about such cases has been pointed in the earlier petition. There is prayer in the petition for allowing recording of statements in the preferred language of the complainant, which can be in Hindi or English, apart from Marathi because many a times the problem lies in the miscommunication that occurs between the complainant and the police personnel recording the statement due to a language barrier.
Read the order here.