HC dismisses acquitted rape accused’s ₹200-crore compensation plea

The Bombay High Court dismissed the plea of a man who sought ₹200 crore as compensation for spending seven years in jail before being acquitted of rape charges.

A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and P.D. Naik was hearing a plea filed by Gopal Shetye seeking compensation from the government for illegal arrest, detention and wrongful confinement. The court said, “When orders of acquittal in criminal cases are passed based on which claims for compensation and damages are instituted, then it would have to be decided whether the acquittal is clear and doubtless. A acquittal by giving benefit of doubt is not an honourable acquittal.”

In July 2009, a woman had filed a rape case against Mr. Shetye. After the identification process, he was booked under IPC section 376 (rape) and sentenced to seven years in jail in May 2010. His petition said during his incarceration, his wife remarried and his two daughters were sent to an orphanage. He also missed out on performing the last rites for his father. Mr. Shetye also sought a CBI investigation into his case.

When he appealed against the conviction in June 2015, the same was set aside and the court said there was “indeed a real substantial doubt” about the identity of the appellant as the culprit.

While dismissing his plea, the court said, “The petitioner has not succeeded in attributing any malafide or malice to the investigating machinery or to the victim who had impleaded him as an accused in the said proceedings. The grant of compensation is not warranted here.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 4:07:08 AM |

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