Women who filed a false rape case against an innocent businessman to face prosecution. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) rape is the fourth most common and under reported crimes against women in India showing the record of an average 87 rape cases every day in 2019 and 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women during the year 2019. From the recent Hathras Rape Case, to the most barbaric and inhumane case of Nirbhaya and Kathua Rape Case and many more dated long back in the history, brought the movement of Justice for Women which led to the beginning of Woman Empowerment Era and how women gained courage and raised their voice to fight back and seek justice for themselves and other women.
Such instances of filing false cases have risen potential abuses against innocent males to fulfil the ulterior motives of either revenge or extortion. Also, the women organisations who come forth to help such women had led to a gross disrespect to the objective of achieving equality and mutual comprehension between the two genders. Earlier, Jaipur Police had busted an extortion racket by a woman giving threats of rape complaint to extort money.
The Indian Judges and certain other dignitaries have also observed such false cases and are of the opinion and suggestion that by relying merely on the sole attestation of the victim and to incriminate someone on such statement is an ‘easy weapon’ and that the ulterior motive of vengeance to harass and extort money and blackmail their male friends has nowadays become a fashion in order to create sensation and gain publicity by charging someone for rape or molestation and misusing penal provisions that were actually made for the protection of women.
The Judiciary and the Legislature has taken a wide approach and is now considering an inclusiveness of the males in the category of victims in order that the laws are deterrent and equal to all. Indian Judiciary is guided by the principle of ‘Not a single innocent man shall be punished for the wrongs not done by him’ and thus a proper enquiry and thorough investigation is the need of the hour in cases filed by women accusing someone for rape.
“This case was the classic example of how men are being falsely implicated in rape cases to settle personal scores with them, illustrating total misuse of rape laws. Also, that the time has come to deal firmly with such accused women filing false complaints who turn out to be the tormentors instead of the victims and that they should be punished under appropriate provisions of law.”
Though prosecution was ordered against the accused woman, the said order was passed at the conclusion of trial, which could do nothing major to salvage the honour and dignity of the innocent male, in the society, who was malafidely implicated.
On this, the Delhi Court Additional Sessions Judge, Virender Bhat observed that;
‘While the act of rape cause intense emotional distress and humiliation to the victim, but the fact that false implication of an innocent in a rape case causes equal humiliation, disgrace and mental agony to the accused as well as his family and are humiliated and ridiculed everywhere. Even honourable acquittal by the court after the completion of the entire trial does nothing major to salvage his honour and dignity, forcing him to live with the stigma of being an accused of rape throughout his life.’
In the recent case of Manish Milani v/s. State (2020), the Court directed prosecution of the accused woman Ruchika Meher, who falsely implicated am innocent businessman Mr. Manish Milani for rape. As thorough investigation brought out evidences and proved at the threshold itself, that she has filed a false case and also committed Perjury, saved the innocent man from undergoing trial and saved him and his family from the societal stigma of being implicated in rape case and from getting his name tarnished. The said accused woman will be prosecuted before Magistrate Court Wai, District – Satara u/. 193, 194, 199, 200, 211 of Indian Penal Code for filing such false complaint against an innocent man and also committing perjury.
This case is first of a kind in Indian judicial history where the woman is prosecuted u/s. 194 of IPC for Perjury which attracts punishment for life imprisonment and that too at the threshold.
The said businessman, Mr. Manish Milani, is possessing huge property, the cost of which runs in billions. Due to the high stakes involved, some people conspired with an ulterior motive to extort money, hence prepared false and fabricated documents and also one habitual offender, Sagar Suryavanshi, who is absconding, hired women to file false cases for rape in order to pressurize the said victim businessman. The said woman registered an FIR u/s. 376(d), 323, 504, 506 r/w 34 of IPC on 18.01.2020 at Wai Police Station, Panchgani, Satara, stating that the said businessman alongwith one other person committed rape on her at isolated place on Wai to Panchgani road in a vehicle under a promise to give her a job as receptionist in Hotel at Panchgani and that the pictures of the alleged rape were clicked by the third person in his cell phone, who was also present with them.
The Applicant/victim businessman lodged the counter complaint to the higher police authorities explaining the true facts over mail and that the Assistant Police Inspector, A. D. Kamble carried out the investigation of the said crime. During investigation, it was revealed that the said applicant (Mr. Manish Milani) was not in India on the date of alleged incident and that the I. O. also collected Call Details Report and also collected reports from Foreign Regional Registration Officer, Mumbai and Report of Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi. After verifying their mobile tower locations other relevant evidences collected during investigation, the I.O. arrived at the conclusion that FIR lodged by informant is maliciously false and therefore, the I.O. filed ‘B Summary Report’ in Court.
When the accused woman was called upon to file her ‘Say’, she resisted the ‘B Summary Report’ and filed Protest Petition, which was rejected by the Court. The Court accepted the ‘B Summary Report’ and also ordered prosecution against the said accused woman. The extract of the said order states as under –
“ 10. …On that basis, in present inquiry, I come to the conclusion that informant of said crime has given false FIR at Wai police station as well false statement on oath under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Court of Justice. Therefore, it appears to me that the informant being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth, but she has given false FIR as well as false statement under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the Court. The informant has given statement on oath under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Wai, inspite of knowledge that the FIR lodged by her is false. Informant has lodged false FIR with intent to cause injury to the present applicant and to Bhisham Parwani, knowing that no just or lawful ground for further proceeding on the basis of that false FIR.
11. Therefore. I record my finding that Criminal Prosecution is required to be initiated against the respondent No. 2 of this application who is informant of Crime No. 08/2020 registered at Wai police station for the offences punishable under Section 193, 194, 199, 200 and 211 of the Indian Penal Code as per Section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. She has prima facie committed aforesaid offences in relation to B summary proceeding before this Court….
12. Considering all above grounds, a complaint is required to be filed against the present respondent No. 2 for the offences punishable under Section 193, 194, 199, 200 and 211 of the Indian Penal Code as per Section 195(1)(b)(i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. As per Section 195(1) (b)(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure, it is required to authorize officer of this court to file a written complaint on behalf of this Court against respondent No. 2 in this Court. Therefore, proceed to pass following order:
1. Application is partly allowed.
2. S. D. Dhekane, Assistant Superintendent of Civil and Criminal Court Wai is authorised and directed to file a Written Complaint against the respondent No. 2 Ruchika Pradeep Meher as per Section 195(1)(b) of Code of Criminal Procedure for the offences punishable under Section 193, 194, 199, 200 and 211 of the IndianPenal Code.
3. The record of present application as well as original record of B summary report and protest petition shall be tagged with that complaint. …”
As per the directions of the Court, after filing of a complaint by the Asst. Superintendent u/s 193, 194, 199, 200, 211 of IPC against the prosecutrix /accused woman Ruchika Meher before The Magistrate at Wai Court, the Hon’ble Judge may issue process with non-bailable warrants of arrest against accused Ruchika Meher and attract punishment of imprisonment for life and the minimum punishment cannot be below ten years; and it may also order further investigation against other accused/conspirators.
As per the rulings laid down in lacuna of cases, the legal experts are of the opinion that, the accused woman should not be granted bail and be tried undertrial and also cases like this should be tried with a sense of urgency, as followed by the Bombay High Court in the case of Surendra Mishra v/s. State (2019), directing the Trial Court to decide the 340 application within one month.
Also, such complaint is still justified in circumstances where a complaint may be against persons who could not be then identified, or the offence is disclosed clearly but offender is not ascertained, or though the place at which and the manner in which the offence was committed may have to be further investigated as laid down in the case of Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co. Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. v/s. The Union of India (1992).
The Indian Judiciary have been vigilant enough to not commit partiality and have imparted justice and directed prosecution and given punishment to the offenders, irrespective of them being the Government Officials, Police Officers, Advocates, Judges or Magistrates or holding any high constitutional offices to ensure proper administration of justice.
This is seen in the landmark judgment of Raman Lal v/s. State (2001), where the court ordered FIR against High Court Judge and SP and other police officer for falsely implicating an innocent person for ulterior purposes. It was ruled as under –
“Accused are Additional High Court Judge, Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Bhatt and others. The accused hatched conspiracy to falsely implicate a shop owner in a case under N.D.P.S. Act and when shop owner submitted to their demands, he was discharged.
Where complainant’s allegations are of stinking magnitude and the authority which ought to have redressed it have closed its eyes and not even tried to find out the real offender and the clues for illegal arrest and harassment are not enquired then he cannot be let at the mercy of such law enforcing agencies who adopted an entirely indifferent attitude. Legal maxim Necessiatas sub lege Non contineture Quia Qua Quad Alias Non Est Lictum Necessitas facit Lictum, means necessity is not restrained by laws, since what otherwise is not lawful necessity makes it lawful.”
It was held that, there is no connection between official duty and offence committed and hence no sanction required for prosecution, thus stating the registration of F.I.R. and investigation as legal and proper and not liable to be quashed.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has made it very clear, in many cases and more particularly in the case of Perumal v/s. Janki (2014) that, if any person including the Police officer helps the woman in lodging and proceeding in a false case including rape case, then every such person is liable to be prosecuted for perjury and the Judge refusing to take action against such woman will be failing in his duty. Failure of Judge to perform his duty in order to help such accused is also made punishable under sec 218 of IPC.
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