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Landmark Judgments on False Rape Cases
1. Ram Murti vs. State of Haryana , 1970 (3) SCC 21
Where the fact situation was akin to the case at hand as the prosecutrix gave divergent statements with regard to her age, the medical evidence showed that she was used to sexual intercourse and the rupture of the hymen was old coupled with the no independent corroborative evidence in support of the incident, the Apex court while acquitting the accused held that:
“The prosecutrix has made several divergent statements. Keeping in view the medical evidence which shows that the prosecutrix had been used to sexual intercourse, in order to accept her statement that she was compelled, threatened or otherwise induced to go with the appellant, there should, in our opinion, be corroboration of some material particular from some independent source and her bare statement cannot be considered sufficient to sustain the appellant’s conviction. It is true that according to the Courts below the appellant has exploited his position both as a medical practitioner and as a teacher and he has been having for some time past illicit intimacy with Satnam Kaur. But the charge in the present case consists of what is stated to have happened between March 24 and March 80, 1985 when she is not shown to be under 18 years of age. In those days we do not find any evidence of inducement, threat or compulsion on the part of the appellant towards the prosecutrix. There is thus no evidence on the record on which the offence under Section 366 can be sustained against the appellant The appeal is, therefore, allowed and the appellant acquitted”.
2. Jayanti Rani Panda vs. State of West Bengal & Ors., 1984 Cri.LJ. 1535
With Reference to Section 90 of IPC it was geld that
“The failure to keep the promise at a future uncertain date due to reasons not very clear on the evidence does not always amount to a misconception of fact at the inception of the act itself. In order to come within the meaning of misconception of fact, the fact must have an immediate relevance. The matter would have been different if the consent was obtained by creating a belief that they were already married. In such a case the consent could be said to result from a misconception of fact. But here the fact alleged is a promise to marry we do not know when. If a full grown girl consents to the act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage and continues to indulge in such activity until she becomes pregnant it is an act of promiscuity on her part and not an act induced by misconception of fact. S. 90 cannot be called in aid in such a case to pardon the act of the girl and fasten criminal liability on the other, unless the Court can be assured that from the very inception the accused never really intended to marry her.”
3. Ashish Batham vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2002 SC 3206
The principles which are required to and weigh with the courts in the administration of the criminal law and the justice delivery system have been laid down.
The Apex Court had observed thus :-
“Realities or truth apart, the fundamental and basic presumption in the administration of criminal law and justice delivery system is the innocence of the alleged accused and till the charges are proved beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of clear, cogent, credible or unimpeachable evidence, the question of indicting or punishing an accused does not arise……..”
4. Deelip Singh vs. State of Bihar , (2005) 1 SCC 88
After extracting Para-21 of the judgment in Uday, supra, the Supreme Court has expressed as here under:-
“21. It therefore appears that the consensus of judicial opinion is in favour of the view that the consent given by the prosecutrix to sexual intercourse with a person with whom she is deeply in love on a promise that he would marry her on a later date, cannot be said to be given under a misconception of fact. A false promise is not a fact within the meaning of the Code.”
5. Radhu vs. State of Madhya Pradesh , (2007)12 SCC 57 = 2007 Crl.L.J. 4704
While dealing with a case where the medical evidence was not convincing enough and it was presented with the sole testimony of the prosecutrix held that:
“The courts should, at the same time, bear in mind that false charges of rape are not uncommon. There have also been rare instances where a parent has persuaded a gullible or obedient daughter to make a false charge of a rape either to take revenge or extort money or to get rid of financial liability. Whether there was rape or not would depend ultimately on the facts and circumstances of each case.
We are thus left with the sole testimony of the prosecutrix and the medical evidence that Sumanbai had an abrasion on the left elbow, an abrasion on her arm and a contusion on her leg. But these marks of injuries, by themselves, are not sufficient to establish rape, wrongful confinement or hurt, if the evidence of the prosecutrix is found to be not trustworthy and there is no corroboration.
The evidence of the prosecutrix when read as a whole, is full of discrepancies and does not inspire confidence. The gaps in the evidence, the several discrepancies in the evidence and other circumstances make it highly improbable that such an incident ever took place.” ( Para 5 & 15 )
6. Raju v. State of Madhya Pradesh , (2008) 15 SCC 133
The Supreme Court stated that the testimony of a victim of rape has to be tested as if she is an injured witness but cannot be presumed to be a gospel truth.
It has been held that :
“It cannot be lost sight of that rape causes the greatest distress and humiliation to the victim but at the same time a false allegation of rape can cause equal distress, humiliation and damage to the accused as well. The accused must also be protected against the possibility of false implication, particularly where a large number of accused are involved. It must, further, be borne in mind that the broad principle is that an injured witness was present at the time when the incident happened and that ordinarily such a witness would not tell a lie as to the actual assailants, but there is no presumption or any basis for assuming that the statement of such a witness is always correct or without any embellishment or exaggeration.”
7. Abbas Ahmed Choudhury v. State of Assam , (2010) 12 SCC 115
Observing that a case of sexual assault has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt as any other case and that there is no presumption that a prosecutrix would always tell the entire story truthfully.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court held:-
“Though the statement of proseuctrix must be given prime consideration, at the same time, broad principle that the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt applies equally to a case of rape and there could be no presumption that a prosecutrix would alway tell the entire story truthfully. In the instant case, not only the testimony of the victim woman is highly disputed and unreliable, her testimony has been thoroughly demolished by the deposition of DW-1.”
8. Rai Sandeep @ Deepu vs. State of NCT of Delhi, (2012) 8 SCC 21
The Supreme Court commented about the quality of the sole testimony of the prosecutrix which could be made basis to convict the accused.
It held :-
“In our considered opinion, the ‘sterling witness’ should be of a very high quality and caliber whose version should, therefore, be unassailable. The Court considering the version of such witness should be in a position to accept it for its face value without any hesitation. To test the quality of such a witness, the status of the witness would be immaterial and what would be relevant is the truthfulness of the statement made by such a witness. What would be more relevant would be the consistency of the statement right from the starting point till the end, namely, at the time when the witness makes the initial statement and ultimately before the Court. It should be natural and consistent with the case of the prosecution qua the accused. There should not be any prevarication in the version of such a witness. The witness should be in a position to withstand the cross- examination of any length and strenuous it may be and under no circumstance should give room for any doubt as to the factum of the occurrence, the persons involved, as well as, the sequence of it. Such a version should have co- relation with each and everyone of other supporting material such as the recoveries made, the weapons used, the manner of offence committed, the scientific evidence and the expert opinion. The said version should consistently match with the version of every other witness. It can even be stated that it should be akin to the test applied in the case of circumstantial evidence where there should not be any missing link in the chain of circumstances to hold the accused guilty of the offence alleged against him. Only if the version of such a witness qualifies the above test as well as all other similar such tests to be applied, it can be held that such a witness can be called as a ‘sterling witness’ whose version can be accepted by the Court without any corroboration and based on which the guilty can be punished. To be more precise, the version of the said witness on the core spectrum of the crime should remain intact while all other attendant materials, namely, oral, documentary and material objects should match the said version in material particulars in order to enable the Court trying the offence to rely on the core version to sieve the other supporting materials for holding the offender guilty of the charge alleged.”
9. Vinod Kumar vs. State of Kerala , 2014 (5) SCC 678
Observations of Hon’ble Supreme Court are worth-noting :
“The Appellant is not an innocent man inasmuch as he had willy-nilly entered into a relationship with the prosecutrix, in violation of his matrimonial vows and his paternal duties and responsibilities. If he has suffered incarceration for an offence for which he is not culpable, he should realize that retribution in another form has duly visited him. It can only be hoped that his wife Chitralekha will find in herself the fortitude to forgive so that their family may be united again and may rediscover happiness, as avowedly the prosecutrix has found.”
1. Mohd. Iqbal V. State, Bail Application no. 2145 of 2009,
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
It was held as under:-
“There is an old Jewish saying “if you are close when you should be distant, you will be distant when you should be close”. It is for both man and woman to restrain themselves and not to indulge in intimate activities prior to the marriage. Undoubtedly it is responsibility, moral & ethical, both, on the part of men not to exploit any woman by extending false promise or through devious acts to force or induce the girl for sexual relationship. But ultimately, it is woman herself who is the protector of her own body. Promise to marry may or may not culminate into marriage. It is the prime responsibility of the woman in the relationship or even otherwise to protect her honour, dignity and modesty. A woman should not throw herself to a man and indulge in promiscuity, becoming source of hilarity. It is for her to maintain her purity, chastity and virtues”
2. Rajesh @ Bobby vs State (Nct Of Delhi) , Delivered on 17 May, 2010
Court: HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Bench: JUSTICE KAILASH GAMBHIR
Testimony of the prosecutrix is not the gospel truth on which implicit reliance can be blindly placed. No medical, contradictory account of incidence by prosecutix
3. Saganna vs The State Of Karnataka , Delivered on 20 February, 2013
Court: Karnataka High Court
Bench: JUSTICE Anand Byrareddy
Willing partner, complainant had opportunity to complain on many occasions, continued to stay with accused. Acquital.
4. Deepak Gulati vs State Of Haryana , Delivered on 20 May, 2013
Court: Supreme Court of India
Bench: B.S. Chauhan, Dipak Misra
Physical relationship between parties with consent of prosecutrix, not tantamount to committing rape. Allegation of “false promise of marriage” raised by prosecutrix is of no consequence
5. Rohit Chauhan vs State Nct Of Delhi , Delivered on 22 May, 2013
Court: HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Bench: JUSTICE KAILASH GAMBHIR
Prosecutrix did not appear to be such vulnerable lady that she would not raise her voice on being immensely exploited over such long period of time. Anticipatory Bail was granted. |Relevant Para are 14 to 16.
“14.Undoubtedly there is a manifold increase in the crime concerning rapes, but all the rape cases which are filed have their own individual story and factual matrix. While most of the cases may be genuine, wherein the girl is a victim of this horrifying crime, or has been forced, blackmailed, threatened to enter into physical relationship with a male on the false pretext of marriage with the sole intent to physically exploit the girl but there may be cases where both persons out of their own will and choice, develop a physical relationship. Many of the cases are being reported by those women who have consensual physical relationship with a man but when the relationship breaks due to one or the other reason, the women use the law as a weapon for vengeance and personal vendetta to extort money and sometimes even to force the boy to get married to her. Out of anger and frustration, they tend to convert such consensual sex as an incident of rape, defeating the very purpose of the provision. There is a clear demarcation between rape and consensual sex and in cases where such controversies are involved, the court must very cautiously examine the intentions of both the individuals involved and to check if even the girl on the other hand is genuine or had malafide motives. Cases like these not only make mockery of the sacred institution of marriage but also inflate the statistics of rape cases which further deprecates our own society.
15. In the facts of the present case, here is a complainant who appears to be quite an ultra-modern lady with an open outlook towards life, enjoying alcohol in the company of menwhich is evident from the photographs placed on record, which have not been denied by the prosecutrix present in court.She does not appear to be such a vulnerable lady that she would not raise her voice on being immensely exploited over such a long period of time. As per the prosecutrix, she had a physical relationship with the petitioner for the last more than 2 ½ years and it is not just a single act of sharing physical intimacy but the same continued for almost a long period of three years. There lies a possibility that the petitioner might have then refused to marry the prosecutrix and this refusal on the part of the petitioner gave a serious jolt to the prosecutrix who then with the help of police, solemnized the marriage with him, in the wee hours of the night when petitioner was in his casual apparels(track suit). It is only on 30.01.2013, that the complainant raised her voicefor the first time and made allegations of rape against the petitioner. It is an admitted case that the said marriage ultimately did not consummate as the complainant was never brought to the matrimonial home and the petitioner has already filed a civil suit to seek decree of declaration for declaring the said marriage as null and void.
16.The court can also not be oblivious of the fact that the marriage between the complainant and the petitioner had indeed taken place and both the parties have not disputed this fact. Therefore, this circumstance by itself entitles the petitioner to the grant of the anticipatory bail. We are not commenting here upon the circumstances which led to the solemnisation of the said marriage as there is a civil suit already pending before the court.It would be worthwhile to mention that being the victim of such a reprehensible crime, one should lodge a complaint immediately, or within a reasonable period of time unless there are sufficient reasons to explain the long delay. Delay in lodging an FIR, in such like cases can ultimately diminish the chances of conviction, as due to such delay, the medical evidence and the other circumstantial evidence may rarely be available to support the case of prosecution.”
6. Gaurav Maggo vs The State Of Nct, Delhi , Delivered on 29 May, 2015
Court: HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Bench: JUSTICE S.P.GARG
Prosecutrix fails to establish promise to marry. Physical relations with consent. Appellants conduct is unfair/unreasonable but not amounting to Rape.
“13. X’ s testimony tested on the above settled principles, is wholly unreliable due to inherent infirmities therein. In the instant case, no cogent and clinching evidence has been brought to prove valid marriage between the two in Mathura on any particular date at a specific place. The appellant’s conduct in the episode is, however, unfair / unreasonable. He knowingly that ,X’ was a widow having three grown-up children, indulged in consensual sex with her.