Police files case against gang rape victim for resiling from her allegations
Rape is an offence not only against an individual but also against the State. Hence, it would not be appropriate for a court to quash the First Information Report (FIR) in such cases even if the victim resiles from her initial stand and makes a diametrically opposite statement that she was not raped at all, the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai has held.
Justice T. Sudanthiram passed the ruling while dismissing a criminal original petition filed by five individuals Madhan alias Madhankumar, Nazir alias Nazruddin, Silambarasan, Pon Murugesan and V. Subramaniyan to quash the FIR in a gang rape case registered against them by the Fort Police Station in Tiruchi city limits on November 2, 2010.
The judge refused to entertain the case despite the victim, a married woman, and the complainant, who was none other than the victim’s maternal aunt, filing a written statement to the effect that no such incident as alleged by the prosecution ever took place. He also rejected the plea of the petitioners that they must be allowed to compound the offences as the issue had been settled amicably.
Expressing shock over such statements made by the victim, the complainant as well as the accused, the judge said that there were only two possibilities in the present case. Either the alleged occurrence must be false or the present statements made by the complainant and the victim must be false. It was a matter of serious concern even if either of them was true.
Giving a free hand to the prosecution to proceed against the complainant and the victim for resiling from their earlier stand, Mr. Justice Sudanthiram said: “It is not open to the affected parties to compromise the matter with the accused… It is also not possible for this court to permit the complainant or the victim girl to compound the offences against the accused.”
On verification, The Hindu found that the Tiruchi city police wasted no time, pursuant to the court orders, in registering a separate case against the victim as well as the complainant, both hailing from Pudukottai district, under Section 193 (intentionally giving false evidence during the course of judicial proceedings) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Fort Police Station Inspector E. Kamaraj.
When contacted, Government Advocate S. Prabha, who opposed the quash petition on behalf of the prosecution, said the victim’s aunt had originally lodged a complaint of abduction against the five accused. Subsequently, many other penal provisions including Sections 376 (rape), 392 (robbery), 294b (uttering obscene words), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 506(i) (criminal intimidation) were added on the basis of the statement made by the victim.
The victim had made the statement even before the jurisdictional judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the police were about to file a charge sheet in the case when there was a sudden volte-face by the victim as well as the complainant who, according to the Government Advocate, had been won over by the accused.