The accuser turned into the accused when a domestic servant who had accused her employer of raping her suddenly pleaded ignorance of the entire incident, thereby causing the Judge to order her prosecution for the offences of giving false evidence, causing a public servant to use his powers to cause injury to another and falsely instituting criminal proceedings.
The “victim” had, according to the prosecution, alleged that her employer had in the absence of his wife asked her to fetch him a glass of water and raped her when she entered his room with the glass. Thereafter she had called the placement agency which had found her the job and narrated the entire incident. Then with the help of the placement agent Shyam Lal Lohar she had proceeded to the police station and registered an FIR.
During the course of the trial, the “victim” said that she could not read and she had thought all the while that she was filing a police complaint to claim her wages which were due to her from her employer. Her placement agent also pleaded ignorance and stated that even he thought the same.
Their innocence was not bought by the Judge, Dr. Kamini Lau who observed: “It is not the job of the police to get the arrears of salary/ payments released and for this they would have not gone to the Police Station nor would have been entertained. It is writ large that by abusing the penal provisions relating to sexual offences (Section 375/376 IPC) the present case was registered. It is evident that both these witnesses have got the present case registered on furnishing false information to public servant with intent to cause such public servant to use his lawful powers to cause injury to the accused.”
A total of 12 witnesses were examined during the trial but nothing incriminatory was found against the accused, who had spent almost 52 days in jail.
While acquitting the accused of all charges, the judge stated: “It is usually people from the middle class where both the husband and wife are working who require the assistance of a domestic help to take care of their household chores. Taking advantage of the vulnerability of this class of people, unscrupulous placement agencies have been observed to be abusing and misusing the penal provisions relating to sexual offences for ulterior motives as has happened in the present case.”
While ordering the prosecution of the domestic worker as well as witness Shyam Lal Lohar, the Judge observed that there were increasing incidents of gross misuse and abuse of the laws relating to rape and sexual abuse and exploitation of uneducated, ignorant and uninformed domestic workers by unscrupulous persons or placement agencies for their personal gains.