News Women filing false POCSO, SC/ST Act cases to grab money from State, ruin image of innocent people: Allahabad High Court

While granting anticipatory bail to a rape accused, the Court called for criminal action to be taken against the complainant is the case is found to be false.

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday frowned upon the apparent trend of women filing false complaints under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act) to grab money from the State. [Ajay Yadav v. State]

The Court added that such false complaints are lodged against innocent persons to ruin their image in society.

“In the society, there are certain false FIR under the POCSO as well as SC/ST Act is lodged against innocent persons ruined their image in the society just for taking money from the State. It is very unfortunate that now a days, in maximum cases the women is using it as a weapon just to grab money, which should be stopped,” a Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav observed.

The Court also opined that both the Central and State governments must be sensitive to the issue of rising cases of sexual violence.

“Looking to the rampant and daily increasing prevalence of such type of crimes of sexual violence, I think that it is high time that the State of U.P. and even the Union of India should become sensitive to this grave issue,” it remarked.

The Court was hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by a man accused of rape in 2011.

Counsel for the applicant argued that the first information report (FIR) in the case was filed only in 2019, around 8 years after the alleged incident took place, without any explanation given for the delay.

It was contended that the victim herself had agreed to having engaged in a physical relationship with the applicant, which suggests that she willingly participated. Further, the complaint under the POCSO Act would not apply since the woman was over 18 years of age.

The Court noted that prima facie, there are material contradictions in the statement of the victim recorded under Sections 161 and 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

“As per version of the FIR, it has been mentioned that the applicant made physical relation with the victim in the year 2012 whereas in the statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. the victim has stated that applicant made physical relation in the year 2013,” the Court noted.

In view of the same, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and considering the nature of the accusations and antecedents of the applicant, the Court granted him anticipatory bail.

It also called for criminal action to be taken against the complainant is the case is found to be false.

“Under the circumstances, it is directed that in case it is found that the FIR lodged by the victim is false, then criminal proceeding under Section 344 Cr.P.C. against the victim shall be initiated after conducting inquiry. It is also directed that in case any money is given by the State to the victim, the same shall also be recovered from the victim,” the Court directed.

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